PhD Student Spotlight

Terava Kaʻanapu Casey

Terava Kaʻanapu CaseyI am a Kānaka Maoli and Paʻumotu PhD scholar studying Pacific and Hawaiian Histories, and currently serve as a World History Teaching Assistant in the History Department. My M.A. thesis in Pacific Islands Studies (Hawaiʻi, 2016) considered cultural festivals such as the Heiva as the site for contemporary identity and community making for overseas Māʻohi, the indigenous peoples of French Polynesia, in Hawaiʻi. I plan to pursue these cross-cultural dialogues as a way to understand regional issues of migration, globalization, representation, indigeneity and community formation between Hawaiʻi and French Polynesia beginning in the 19th century. My husband and I have three children and are from Hauʻula, Koʻolauloa, Oʻahu.


Lee English

I specialize in the cultural, political, and economic interactions between various cultures throughout history. I am especially interested in maritime interaction, as the ocean provided a space outside the control of traditional power structures.


Garrett Hillyer

Garrett HillyerTālofa lava! I am a doctoral candidate analyzing food history in the Sāmoan archipelago from the deep past to the contemporary period. My work is ethnographic historical, emphasizing the role of food in orality, performance, and the sensory to articulate the ways in which contemporary actors evoke the past through their engagement with food in the present, and how this engagement and these foods have changed over time. My fields of study at UH are Pacific Islands History (major field), World History, Hawaiian Islands History, and Pacific Islands Studies. I am interested in cultural history more broadly, as my MA work focused on sport in 20th-century U.S. History. While at UH, I have held a Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship for Sāmoan, and have worked as a TA for the World History 151 and 152 courses. I have also been lucky enough to receive the John F. Kennedy Memorial Fellowship in History and an Outstanding Teaching Assistant award from this department, and have served as president of the Alpha Beta Epsilon Chapter of Phi Alpha Theta. My time in the department here has been both fun and highly educational, as I have been supported not only in coursework but also in my efforts to travel for research and language education. Soifua!

>> Curriculum Vitae (PDF)
>> Website
>> Pacific-Studies.Net Page
>> Academia.edu Page


Tokikake (Toki) Ii

Tokikake IiMy research interests revolve around U.S.-Japanese cultural and diplomatic history. More specifically, I’m researching on the collective memory, victimhood narrative of the atomic bombings and the Pacific War, as well as the post-war nuclear and nuclear-power-plant culture. As my peripheral interests, I also examine representation of the memory and culture in general in media, museums, archives, and educational institutions.

 

>> Curriculum Vitae
>> LinkedIn Page


Kale K. A. Kanaeholo

Kale Kanaeholo

Aloha mai kākou! I am a Kanaka ʻŌiwi doctoral student here in UH-Mānoa’s History Department. I am from Waipiʻo, Oʻahu although my family traces its roots to Papaikou, Hilo, Moku o Keawe, Waipahu, Oʻahu, and even as far as Okinawa. I completed my master’s degree in the History Department here at UH-Mānoa, which looked at Kanaka ʻŌiwi resistance to U.S. federal recognition. I am hoping to expand on this project or look more closely at the Second Hawaiian Renaissance, a cultural revitalization movement that began in the 1960s and extended into the 1970s. My other research interests include Kanaka ʻŌiwi, Pacific/Oceanic, and Indigenous histories, twentieth century Hawaiʻi, as well as the legacies of colonialism and imperialism around the world.

During my time in the History Department, I have worked as a Graduate Assistant for the World History 151 and 152 courses. I was the recipient of the Daniel W. Y. Kwok Award for Outstanding Teaching Assistant (2020), the Kuaʻana Tuition Waiver (2021-2022) from the University of Hawaiʻi, and other external funding awards. I am also a member of the history honors society, Phi Alpha Theta (PAT). In my spare time, I enjoy discovering new music and taking photos of our beautiful ʻāina in both film and digital formats.

Ua lehulehu a manomano ka ʻikena a ka Hawaiʻi. Great and numerous is the knowledge of the Hawaiians.

>> Curriculum Vitae


Rob York

Rob YorkMy primary research interest is in surveillance and punishment in North Korea, as well as human rights discourse and diplomacy. Secondary interests include corporate governance in South Korea as well as its alternative music scene.

 

 

>> Curriculum Vitae (PDF)
>> Website (Chief Editor)


Xinli Zhang

Xinli Zhang

你好!Aloha! I’m a PhD student in the History Department, majored in Chinese History in the Yuan period. I would like to concentrate on the art, architecture, epigraphy and literary sources to explore religion, local society and social movements, ethnic policies and Han Chinese identity, and Mongol ideas of empire and universal rule. I have begun to explore some of these themes in my MA thesis, Tales of the Water God: A New Explanation of the Murals inside the Ming Ying Wang Hall of the Water God Temple of the Guangsheng Monastery. At present, l will continue to work on temples and other cultural relics in Shanxi, China and try to outline the way of “Mongolicization” in the core area of China from religious, dramatic performing and intellectual perspectives.

>> Curriculum Vitae


Recently Graduated

Aaron Rom Olimba Moralina

Aaron MoralinaMy research interests focus generally on issues of science and technology, modernization, and development in Southeast Asia. For my Ph.D. dissertation, I investigate how public health and medicine became crucial sites wherein the United States deployed its power in the Philippines and Indonesia after the Second World War. I look into these two countries’ experiences in implementing vertical public health programs—i.e., intensely focused, highly intrusive top-down interventions—that received large amounts of financial and technical assistance from U.S. federal agencies, American philanthropic groups, and international health organizations.

>> Curriculum Vitae (PDF)
>> Academia Page


Shirley E. Buchanan

Shirley BuchananMy research focuses on the connections between Native Americans and Native Hawaiians in the nineteenth century. I am particularly interested in learning how indigeneity and gender shaped U.S. federal policies in this period, setting patterns and creating legacies that reverberate in America today. I am also a lecturer for the Department of Women’s Studies here at UH Mānoa and actively serve as a member of Alpha Beta Epsilon, the UH Mānoa chapter of Phi Alpha Theta National History Honor Society.

PhD 2019

>> Curriculum Vitae (PDF)


Susan Corley

My major field of study is 19th century Hawaiian history. Hawaiians reconstituted governance structures as political ideologies evolved and authority shifted to the printed word. I will track 19th century Hawaiian language print production and consumption of political knowledge in order to trace governance changes.

PhD 2019


Brandon Tachco

Brandon TachcoMy fields of study are World History, Environmental History, Modern Southeast Asia, and Modern Europe. My research interests include nineteenth-century state and corporate imperialism, colonialism, resource extraction, ships, maritime spaces, and territoriality.

 


PhD 2018


Brian T. Alofaituli

Brian AlofaituliMy dissertation examines the role of the London Missionary Society (LMS) Samoan church during two popular protest movements in Samoa, namely the Mau a Pule under German colonial rule and the Mau movement during New Zealand occupation. Using material gathered from various archives and from interviews, I plan to address perspectives from both foreign and native LMS church leaders.

 

PhD 2017


Alex Holowicki

Alex HolowickiHeeding an interest in World History and American History, my research explores film as an instrument of peacekeeping and international understanding during the interwar years.

 

 

PhD 2017


A.P.J. Witten

Research Interests: Eighteenth and nineteenth-century agricultural treatises in Britain, France and Japan in environmental and technological contexts.

PhD 2017


Hieu Phung

Hieu PhungOriginally trained in Classical Chinese and the Vietnamese Nom script, I am interested in examining how Classical Chinese values took shape not only in Chinese history but also in non-Chinese societies like Vietnam. I am now working on a dissertation entitled “Human Perceptions of the Environment in Vietnam, 1400-1900.” In addition to premodern history of Vietnam and China, my research interests include transnational and interdisciplinary approaches to history, such as world history and environmental history.

PhD 2017

>> Curriculum Vitae (PDF)


Robert A. Findlay

Robert FindlayMy research interests include world history, modern East and Southeast Asian history, and US foreign policy during the twentieth century. Tentatively titled “Captivating Hearts and Minds: The United States Information Agency’s Cultural Cold War in Asia, 1945-1970,” my dissertation examines US government attempts to shape and direct cultural practices in Asia while bolstering the economic, political, and military power of the United States.

 

PhD 2016

>> Curriculum Vitae (PDF)
>> Academia Page