Showing posts from May, 2009

Two Weeks Til My Defense

A little less than two weeks before I defend my dissertation. Sumahi and I are heading to San Diego this morning to prepare for my defense and graduation. For those of you who have been interested in what my dissertation is about, and I haven't been able to tell you, or told you I would tell you later. Here's the fragment that I've written to introduce it.


GUAM! Where the Production of America’s Sovereignty Begins!

This title might seem odd for a number of reasons. It collapses, or causes a collision between, a number of different concepts that many might not be familiar with, or feel go together. First we have Guam, a colony of the United States, or as it is more formally known, a territory or a dependency of it. Then we have the United States, which most likely needs no introduction, but the reference to its sovereignty might cause a few eyebrows to be raised. Sovereignty can refer to many things, but generally deals with nations, t…

Hami na Dos

Hami yan Si Sumåhi para bei in hanao gi agupa'ña para lågu, ya ti para ta bira mågi Guahan este ki i tinituhun July. Para bei hanao lagu put iyo-ku graduation gi i otro mes ginnen iyo-ku Programman Ph.D. giya San Diego. Gof ya-ñiha i familian-måmi gi lagu na manali'e yan Si Sumåhi. Meggai matulaika-ña siha esta gi i ti apmam na lina'la'-ña. Manlinemlam i familia siempre. Estaba kulang “eggplant” gui', fihu kumetu, ti siña kumuunanaf, ya-ña chumalek lao taya' kuentos-ña.

Sesso, (pi’ot annai mampos machalek Si Sumåhi) siniente-ku minahalang para ayu na klasin haggå-hu. Achokka’ ya-hu este na nene-hu på’go na momento, sa’ siña umakuentusi ham, ya esta humuhuyong ginnen Guiya iyo-ña personality, sen mannge ayu na mas hoben na nene lokkue’. Ayu na otro nene mas fa’set para u na’maigo’, ya gof ya-ña mumaigo’ gi pecho’-ku. Este na nene-hu på’go, kada na manna’oppop gui’ gi i pecho’-ku, manggaogao “I wanna baila!”

Ai adai, hu komprende na todu i famagu’on mangguaha mitmi…

Apologies, Power and Justice

Ideas of restitution and reconciliation have been on my mind alot lately. One of the main reasons for this, is the possibility that the long-standing, shameful issue of War Reparations for Chamorros may soon be resolved. In January, Congresswoman Bordallo resubmitted the Guam World War II Loyalty Recognition Act (giya Guahan mafa'na'an este "War Reparations"), and it was passed by the House in February. At present its in committee in the Senate, and since the Democrats hold a clear majority now and Barack Obama was on record as a presidential candidate supporting the bill's passage, it looks like it might actually get throught his time.

Kalang ti hongge'on este. Kuantos tiempo esta maloffan desde i gera? Kuantos na manamko' esta manmatai?
The legislation was almost to this point last April, after passing through the House and even making its way onto the Senate floor. Once there however it was stalled by an objection from South Carolina Senator Jim Demint.…

Reclaim Guahan Rally


Ginnen i GFT


We need to address important areas of concern in our island such as the military build-up, protecting our land and natural resources and preserving the Chamorro culture. The Angel Leon Guerrero Santos Memorial Water for the People Act (Bill 73) is one piece of legislation that will give back to the people of Guam. Those who have been given land from the Chamorro Land Trust have a difficult time living comfortably when there is no water sewage infrastructure in place. Bill 73 will have GWA provide free water infrastructure for those leasing under the Chamorro Land Trust. For years we have been trying to give back land to the Chamorro people but we must give back land that provides suitable living. This is just one of the many issues we need to address. The youth of Guam has recognized the downfalls of our island and is gathering together in hopes for real change in our island’…

The Eternal Sands of Sovereignty

The dissertation writing continues today. It is such a horrible feeling when the issues that you take to heart and normally write about so passionately, get reduced to horrid chores of editing, re-writing, re-structuring. I guess it is a part of all dissertation project or large research projects such as this, where you start to loathe the work you are doing.

I'm sure it will pass though, but in the meantime I can take a small amount of joy, when I get the chance to write some interesting things. Today I am finishing up the second draft of my methodology chapter, in which I discuss using "traces of sovereignty" to support my academic arguments about sovereignty and what we can learn or tease out from the concept through the political status of Guam. These traces of sovereignty come from everyday sources, my blog, my email account, my interactions with people. As I wrote today:

They are traces, fragments of discourse which circle around the link or lack thereof between Guam…

Tres Sinangan

I'm down to the last few weeks to finish up my dissertation. I'm finishing a year ahead of schedule, so everything is a bit crazy and last minute, but its very important for me that I finish up as soon as I can and move on to other things. I've been in some sort of college for twelve years straight now and its starting to wear down on me, and the need for decent money to pay off loans and support a child and health insurance as I start getting older is also compelling me to finish up.

Obviously, there won't be much blogging for the next few weeks, unless I'm just posting stuff from my dissertation on here. (Gi minagahet, maolek este na hinasso.)

Before returning to writing I did want to share three quotes which have sustained me through the writing process, and are keeping me going as I type. The first is critical, the second is more reflective and the third is a call to action. They represent in a very nice (maninos) way the spirit of my dissertation. **************…

Bay Area Screening of "The Insular Empire"

If you're in the Bay Area on May 13th, and you're interested in the Marianas Islands or Micronesia, you should check this film out and join the discussion. I'm pasting the info below and continue my post beneath it:


What is it like to be a colonial subject of the greatest democracy on Earth?

Voices from Guam and Saipan, a work-in-progress of a new PBS documentary by Vanessa Warheit.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Cal State East Bay (Cal State Hayward)
Old University Union
Room 102

Suggested donation: $10-$20

Music performance by Saipan musician Gus Kaipat
Discussion will follow screening.

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Here is the link to the driving directions: http://www20. csueastbay. edu/about/ visitor-informat ion/driving- directions. html

Here is the link to the campus map: http://www20. csueastbay. edu/about/ visitor-informat ion/maps- campus-locations /hayward-…

What I'm Doing Next Week

Indigenous Studies Engages Ethnic Studies
A Symposium hosted by the Department
of Ethnic Studies at UCSD

For a schedule of all panels, please see below or go to the event blog at:

Date & Time: Friday, May 8, 2009, 9:30am-5:00pm
Location: Room 107 of UCSD’s Social Science Building

If you are not familiar with the geography of UCSD,
go to- and type “Social Science Building”


Mission Statement: As scholars in the Ethnic Studies Department at UCSD, we stand incredibly proud of the cutting edge critical race and ethnic studies work developed in our department, and in its potential to push the limits of the larger Ethnic Studies project. In this spirit, we find that in order for Ethnic Studies to move beyond the usual emphasis on immigration, diaspora and slavery paradigms, the critical potential of Indigenous Studies should become an integral part of our intellectual …

Translating Oasis

I've always thought it very interesting, that of all the things I write about on this blog, the posts which elicit the most comments or negative feedback are one's dealing with the Chamorro language. Its so strange, because I say some pretty negative things about the United States, militarization and have some pretty radical political and social positions compared to most Chamorros, but I don't get much feedback in that direction. Most of it is all related to me mis-using the language, abusing it, not speaking it or spelling it authentically, sabotaging it or perpetuating poor grammar or English-affect Chamorro.

Its possible, that I could simply be the worst speaker of Chamorro in the world, and all of these people are angels who are doing the Lord's work in protecting the Chamorro people from my evil damaging influence. Sina, lao hu dududa este.

One of the reasons that I think this may be the case, is that unlike issues of history, culture, politics and current events …