Multicultural settler colonialism and indigenous struggle in Hawaiʻi : the politics of astronomy on Mauna a Wākea

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2014-12
Authors
Salazar, Joseph Anthony
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[Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [December 2014]
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Abstract
This dissertation argues the struggle over Mauna Kea is emblematic of the larger struggle over Hawaiʻi. This is not a struggle for equality, participation, money, or recognition, but is instead a struggle over meaning and its making. I argue that the latest push for another telescope takes place in the broader context of multicultural settler colonialism under U.S. occupation: realized through law and rationalized by science. The dissertation intervenes in conventional discourses, staging a different conversation about the issue; one that interrogates the collusion of science, capital, law, and the state and the processes by which the University of Hawaiʻi becomes a steward of the land and Kanaka ʻŌiwi become obstructions to progress. I argue science, capital, and law are mobilized in ways that vindicate astronomy expansion in a liberal multicultural vision of "coexistence" that maintains rather than challenges hegemonic relations of power. Through archival research, formal interviews, discourse analysis, and participant observation I examine the politics of telescopes on the sacred mountain of Mauna a Wākea, the namesake of our ancestor-akua to whom all Kanaka trace our genealogies. I show how the mountain is not only sacred because, as some suggest, it provides a means by which to advance political interests, but rather because the mountain is the embodiment of an ancestor in a land-based onto-genealogical relationship that informs contemporary articulations of aloha ʻāina, anti-colonial work, indigeneity, the natural, and the sacred. My thesis is that the forms of power operative in astronomy expansion and the call for a moratorium on new telescope development become intelligible when located in the broader context of indigenous struggle against settler colonialism and U.S. empire in Hawaiʻi--when Kanaka ʻŌiwi are respected and heard on our own terms.
Description
Ph.D. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2014.
Includes bibliographical references.
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Iokepa Casumbal-Salazar, telescopes, science, indigeneity, sacred
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Theses for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (University of Hawaii at Manoa). Political Science.
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