Friday, September 18, 2015

Those Who Create Futures Rooted in Wonder

This week I'm at the symposium "Creating Futures Rooted in Wonder: Bridges Between Indigenous, Science Fiction and Fairy Tale Studies" at the University of Hawai'i, Manoa. I was fortunate enough to be invited out to speak and participate in workshops. The symposium has been amazing so far, because the discussion is so in line with thoughts I've had for years, the only difference is now I am finding so many others, books and journals that are parts of a conversation I can now join. I've always been into nerdy and geeky things such as comics, science fiction, fantasy, but about 15 years ago I began to care more about Chamorro culture, history and language. I have spent every moment since trying to find ways of bringing together those various passions. At this symposium I've found people from various Pacific Islander and Native American communities who feel the exact same way and have the exact same creative/political desires. 

Here are some of the people I get to hang out with this week.


Creating Futures Rooted in Wonder:
Bridges between Indigenous, Science Fiction, and Fairy Tale Studies
University of Hawai‘i-Mānoa
Wednesday, September 16 – Saturday, September 19, 2015

Born in Snohomish Territory raised in Tscha-kole-chy and Duwamish Territory, with Chamoru (Songsong Tomhom Manggåffan Che’ yan Songsong Mongmong Manggåffan Eggeng) and Ilokano (Vigan, Ilocos Sur) ancestry, dåko-ta alcantara-camacho sails through the world sharing ancestral songs & dance from the sacred lands and waters that have gifted these ways.

Kelsey Amos is working on a PhD in English at UH Mānoa. Her interests in Indigenous futurism, representations of Hawaiʻi, and settler colonialism also serve her work as a writer and coordinator for Purple Maiʻa, an indigenous technology education non-profit. Her article "Hawaiian Futurism Written in the Sky and Up Among the Stars" is forthcoming from Extrapolation.

Stina Attebery is a graduate student at the University of California at Riverside whose dissertation focuses on the relationship between media, biotechnology, and extinction in indigenous science fiction. She serves as an editor for the Eaton Journal of Archival Research in Science Fiction and is a recipient of a Sawyer Fellowship for the 2015–16 Sawyer Seminar on ‘Alternative Futurisms’.

Cristina Bacchilega teaches fairy tales and their adaptations, folklore and literature, and cultural studies at UHM. She is the co-editor of Marvels & Tales: Journal of Fairy-Tale Studies. Her recent publications include Fairy Tales Transformed? 21st-Century Adaptations and the Politics of Wonder (2013).

Tammy Haili‘ōpua Baker is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. Her work centers on the development of an indigenous Hawaiian theatre aesthetic and form, Hawaiian language revitalization, and the empowerment of cultural identity through stage performance. Baker is also a playwright and the artistic director of Ka Hālau Hanakeaka, a Hawaiian medium theatre troupe. Originally from Kapa‘a, Kaua‘i she now resides in Kahalu‘u, Ko‘olaupoko, O‘ahu.

Michael Lujan Bevacqua is a scholar and translator teaching Chamorro Studies at the University of Guam. Co-authored with Elizabeth Kelley Bowman, Bevacqua’s essay, “Histories of Wonder, Futures of Wonder: Chamorro Activist Identity, Community, and Leadership in ‘The Legend of Gadao’ and ‘The Women who Saved Guåhan from a Giant Fish,’” will be part of the Marvels & Tales special issue “Rooted in Wonder.” Bevacqua’s research deals with the impact of colonization on Chamorros in Guam and theorizes the possibilities for the decolonization of their lands and lives. He is a passionate advocate for the revitalization of the Chamorro language, and has translated manga comic books, rock songs and even Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” into Chamorro.

Marie Alohalani Brown is an Assistant Professor in the Religion Department at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Her first book, Facing the Spears of Change: The Life and Legacy of John Papa ʻĪʻī, is slated for publication in 2016, University of Hawaiʻi Press. 

Lianne Marie Leda Charlie is a descendant of the Tagé Cho Hudän (Big River People), Northern Tutchone speaking people of the Yukon. She was raised by her mom, a second generation Canadian of Danish and Icelandic ancestry on the unceded territories of the Lekwugen speaking people in what is commonly known as Victoria, British Columbia. She is currently pursuing a PhD in Indigenous Politics at the University of Hawai`i at Mānoa and developing a theory of Indigenous collage.

Grace Dillon (Anishinaabe, Garden River and Bay Mills Nations) is a Professor in the Indigenous Nations Studies Program at Portland State University, Oregon. She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on Native American and Indigenous Studies, Science Fiction, Indigenous Cinema, and Popular Culture, Race and Social Justice. She is the editor of Walking the Clouds: An Anthology of Indigenous Science Fiction (University of Arizona Press, 2012), and she runs "Imagining Indigenous Futurisms," an annual writing contest that recognizes authors who “wield science fiction as their weapon of choice in the pursuit of social justice.” 

Kamuela Joseph Nui Enos was born and raised in Waiʻanae, on the island of Oʻahu and is currently the Director of Social Enterprise at MAʻO Organic Farms. He received his B.A. in Hawaiian Studies from UH Mānoa and an M.A. from UH Mānoa's Dept of Urban and Regional Planning. His M.A. Thesis: “Utilizing Traditional Hawaiian Land Use Practices to Create Sustainability Paradigms for the 21st Century” is the closest he has got to writing a sci-fi novel, but he has long been an ardent fan of the genre.

Solomon Enos is a native Hawaiian artist, visionary and story teller. With work in public and private collections, and a multitude of community murals, Solomon is immersed in creative processes on a daily basis.  One of his principal passions is the merging of science-fiction and indigenous stories, he creates and illustrates scenarios from this conceptual framework, always mindful of the balance of man, nature and spirit, the Hawaiian/indigenous world view.  Solomon’s Polyfantastica series spans 40,000 years and incorporates his expansive thinking and creativity.  Solomon looks forward to creating and imaging narratives with copresenter Sherryl Vint.

Candace Fujikane is Associate Professor of English and teaches classes on the literatures of Hawaiʻi.  She co-edited with Jonathan Okamura Asian Settler Colonialism: From Local Governance to the Habits of Everyday Life in Hawaiʻi, and she is currently working on her book project, "Mapping Abundance: Indigenous and Critical Settler Cartography in Hawaiʻi." 

A Kanaka ʻŌiwi from Oʻahu, Noelani Goodyear-Kaʻōpua works as an Associate Professor of Political Science at UHM. She teaches Hawaiian and Indigenous politics, and she is increasingly working at the intersection of Indigenous and Futures studies. Her previous research projects have involved documenting, analyzing and proliferating the ways people are transforming imperial and settler colonial relations through Indigenous political values and initiatives. She is the author of The Seeds We Planted: Portraits of a Native Hawaiian Charter School (University of Minnesota Press, 2013) and the co-editor of two books that are resources for creating more just futures in Hawai'i, A Nation Rising: Hawaiian Movements for Life, Land and Sovereignty (Duke University Press, 2014) and The Value of Hawaiʻi, 2: Ancestral Roots, Oceanic Visions. 

Andrea Hairston is a novelist, scholar, and playwright. She is a professor of Theatre and Africana Studies at Smith College and the Artistic Director of Chrysalis Theatre. Her novels include Redwood and Wildfire, winner of the Tiptree and Carl Brandon Awards, Mindscape, winner of the Carl Brandon award, and the forthcoming Will Do Magic For Small Change.

Vilsoni Hereniko is a professor, playwright, and filmmaker. He has taught at UH for 25 years and is a former Director of the Center for Pacific Islands Studies at UH-Mānoa as well as the Oceania Centre for Arts, Culture and Pacific Studies at the University of the South Pacific in Fiji.

Walidah Imarisha is an author, educator, organizer and poet. She is one of the co-editors of the anthology Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction Stories from Social Justice Movements. She is also the author of the collection of poetry Scars/Stars, and the upcoming nonfiction book Angels with Dirty Faces: Three Stories of Crime, Prison and Redemption.

Scott Ka‘alele is a PhD candidate in the English Department at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. He was born and raised in Honolulu and has come into contact with snow only once. He enjoys Shakespeare, Stephen King novels, and movies about crime.

Emelihter Kihleng is the Distinguished Writer in Residence in the English Department at University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. She recently completed her PhD in Va'aomanū Pasifika 
Pacific Studies from Victoria University of Wellington in Aotearoa/New Zealand. Her first collection of poetry, My Urohs, was published by Kahuaomānoa Press in 2008. Emeli's most recent poems can be found in her PhD thesis about menginpehn lien Pohnpei, the handwriting/handiwork of Pohnpeian women from Pohnpei Island, Micronesia. You can find her PhD thesis here:

Victoria Nalani Kneubuhl is a Honolulu writer. Her plays have been performed in Hawai‘i, the continental United States and have toured to Britain, Asia, and the Pacific.  Her anthology of plays, Hawai‘i Nei, was published by the University of Hawai‘i Press.  She is the author of three mystery novels set in Hawai‘i, Murder Casts a Shadow, and Murder Leaves Its Mark also published by UH Press. Her third mystery, Murder Frames the Scene will be available this spring. Her short stories have appeared in various anthologies. She is the writer and co-producer for the television series Biography Hawaii. She has received the Hawai‘i Award for Literature and the Eliot Cades Award for Literature.

Anne Kustritz is an Assistant Professor in Media Studies at Utrecht Universiteit.  Her scholarship focuses on fan communities, transformative works, digital economies, and representational politics, and her teaching specializes in sexuality, gender, media ethnography, and convergence.  She also serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Transformative Works and Cultures, an open-source, peer-reviewed on-line academic journal affiliated with the non-profit Organization for Transformative Works, which offers fans legal, social, and technological resources to organize, preserve their history, and promote the legality of transformative works.

Bryan Kamaoli Kuwada believes in the power and potential of ea, of life, of breath, rising, of sovereignty, because he sees it all around him, embodied in the ʻāina, the kai, his family, his friends, and his beautiful community. He is a Ph.D. candidate in English at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, focusing on translation theory. He is currently editor of the journal Hūlili: Multidisciplinary Research on Hawaiian Well-Being, and works as a Hawaiian-language editor and translator.
Jason Edward Lewis is a digital media poet, artist, and software designer. He founded Obx Laboratory for Experimental Media, where he directs research/creation projects on computation as a creative material, emergent media theory and history, and methodologies for conducting art-led technology research. He co-directs the Initiative for Indigenous Futures, the Aboriginal Territories in Cyberspace research network, and the Skins Workshops on Aboriginal Stortyelling and Video Game Design. Lewis' creative work has been featured at Ars Electronica, Mobilefest, Urban Screens, ISEA, SIGGRAPH, and FILE, among other venues, and has been recognized with the inaugural Robert Coover Award for Best Work of Electronic Literature, a Prix Ars Electronica Honorable Mention, several imagineNATIVE Best New Media awards and five solo exhibitions. Born and raised in California, he is of Cherokee, Hawaiian and Samoan descent.

Alexander Mawyer earned a PhD in anthropology from the University of Chicago, for which he conducted fieldwork with the Mangarevan community in the Gambier and Society Islands of French Polynesia, focused on language at the intersection of history and politics. Some of his active research interests include issues of place and space in Pacific homelands, the history of Pacific Islands films and filmmaking, issues of language shift and revitalization in French Polynesia, the language of "nature" in Eastern Polynesia, and legacies of the nuclear experience in French Polynesia. He presently teaches in the Center for Pacific Island Studies.

Brandy Nālani McDougall of Kula, Maui is a Kanaka ʻŌiwi poet, scholar, and publisher. Her books include a poetry collection, The Salt-Wind, Ka Makani Paʻakai (Kuleana ʻŌiwi Press 2008), Huihui: Navigating Art and Literature in the Pacific, an anthology co-edited with Jeffrey Carroll and Georganne Nordstrom (UH Press 2015), and Finding Meaning: Kaona and Contemporary Hawaiian Literature, a critical monograph forthcoming from the University of Arizona Press in 2016. She is an Assistant Professor specializing in Indigenous Studies in the American Studies Department at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. 

Sadhana Naithani is Professor of literature and folklore at the Centre of German Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. She has found that her researches have required different media of expression. So, she is the author of books and research articles, as also of two ethnographic documentary films and a forthcoming novella.

Jocelyn Ng is a 2x International slam poetry champion and the current Outreach Director for Pacific Tongues. She has performed  & conducted workshops throughout Hawai'i, Aotearoa, and the  Continental United States. Her current work explores the intersections of being a queer mixed womyn of color in the Pacific.

Jonathan Kay Kamakawiwo‘ole Osorio is a full professor and has a PhD in History from the University of Hawai‘i. At Kamakakūokalani, he has developed and taught classes in history, literature, law as culture, music as historical texts, and research methodologies for and from indigenous peoples. His recent publications include The Value of Hawai‘i: Knowing the Past and Shaping the Future, and Dismembering Lāhui: A History of the Hawaiian Nation to 1887. He is also a composer and singer and has been a Hawaiian music recording artist since 1975.
Craig Santos Perez is an Associate Professor in the English Department, at the University of Hawaiʻi, Mānoa, where he teaches Pacific Literature and Creative Writing.

Michelle Raheja is the author of Reservation Reelism:  Redfacing, Visual Sovereignty and Representations of Native Americans in Film.  She is an Associate Professor in the Department of English at the University of California, Riverside where she teaches courses on Native American literature, visual culture, and theory.  Currently, she is working on Future Tense: Rethinking Indigeneity Across Time and Space, a book project that puts oral narrative, early American non-fiction, and speculative fiction and film in conversation.

John Rieder, one of the co-organizers of the symposium, is a Professor of English at UH Mānoa and author of Colonialism and the Emergence of Science Fiction (Wesleyan UP, 2008). He is an editor of the science fiction journal Extrapolation, and, along with Grace W. Dillon and Michael Levy, co-editor of a forthcoming special issue of Extrapolation on Indigenous Futurism.

Jill Terry Rudy, associate professor of English at Brigham Young University--Provo, studies folk narrative and the history of American folklore scholarship.  Current research involves fairy tales on television, intermediality, North American Indian tale collections, and computational approaches with digital and public humanities.  She is co-director of the Fairy Tales Teleography and Visualizations (FTTV) project at

Nisi Shawl’s story collection Filter House co-won the James Tiptree, Jr. Award in 2009 and was nominated for the World Fantasy Award.  She is coauthor of Writing the Other: A Practical Approach, an instructional guide to literary inclusivity. Her Belgian Congo steampunk novel Everfair is due out from Tor in Spring 2016. She is this Fall’s Joseph Keene Chadwick Distinguished Speaker.

Caroline Sinavaiana Gabbard is a daughter of Samoa, and a professor of English at the University of Hawai‘i Mānoa, where she teaches Oceanic Literatures and Creative Writing.  Her publications include two collections of poetry, Alchemies of Distance, and Mohawk/Samoa: Transmigrations (with James Thomas Stevens), and a forthcoming memoir in prose and poetry, Side Effects, A Pilgrimage.  She was co-editor (with J. Kehaulani Kauanui) of Women Writing Oceania, a special issue of Pacific Studies featuring multi-genre writing and visual art.

Born in Kahnawake Mohawk Territory, Skawennati holds a BFA from Concordia University. She is Co-Director of Aboriginal Territories in Cyberspace (AbTeC), and the Initiative for Indigenous Futures. Her art addresses history, the future, and change and has been shown in major exhibitions such across North America.

Gabriel Teodros is a musician, writer and teaching artist from Seattle, Washington. He has set stages on fire all across the US, Canada, Mexico and Ethiopia, and his latest album Evidence Of Things Not Seen with New Zealand-based producer SoulChef is available now.

Sherryl Vint is Professor of Science Fiction Media Studies at the University of California, Riverside, where she co-directs the Science Fiction and Technoculture Studies program. She is the author of Bodies of Tomorrow (2007), Animal Alterity (2010), The Wire (2013), and Science Fiction: A Guide to the Perplexed (2014), and co-author of The Routledge Concise History of Science Fiction (2011). She co-edits the journals Science Fiction Film and Television and Science Fiction Studies.

Reina Whaitiri of Kai Tahu, has taught English literature at the University of Auckland and the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa. She has co-edited four volumes of work featuring work by Maori and Pacific Island writers. Reina writes on and researches Maori and Pacific literature. She is interested in poetry and other writing by indigenous people from around the world with a focus on Oceania. Since returning from Hawai‘i Reina has been involved with mentoring emerging Maori writers and was the judge of the short story in English category at the 2011 Huia Publishers Writing Awards and for the 2012 NZ Post Book Awards.

Aiko Yamashiro is a student and co-instigator of decolonial literatures at UH Mānoa. She is the co- editor of The Value of Hawai‘i 2: Ancestral Roots, Oceanic Visions (UH Press 2014) and co-blogger at

Ida Yoshinaga is a Ph.D. student of fantastic film and TV scriptwriting in the Creative Writing Program of the Department of English at the University of Hawai'i. A former Crown Prince (Emperor) Akihito Scholar and graduate of the Inter-University Center for Advanced Japan Language Studies run by Stanford University, she studies the socio-cultural history of "local" Japanese settlers in occupied Hawai'i, and the ways that genre and narrative have shaped the political investments of this community as an American(ized) population of color that resists Native Hawaiian efforts towards indigenous self-determination and independence. A past recipient of the UHM English Department's Abernethy Award for Creative Writing, the highest honor for students in its MA program, she has published creative and scholarly work in Chain, Tinfish, Honolulu Stories, Hawai'i Review, Vice-Versa Journal, and Marvels & Tales, among other places.

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