“Sovereignties in the 21st Century”

Location: Burns 2118 (East-West Center)
Day, Time: Wednesdays, noon to 1:30 pm
Contact: Ruth Y. Hsu (Director),

Speaker Series Theme:
Speakers might examine the discursive contexts of the inception and evolution of the idea of sovereignty in Europe, from its earliest glimmerings to its various manifestations around the globe today. In this case, sovereignty—defined as 'supreme authority with a territory- might be explored in relation to the Treaty of Westphalia, and its evolution from the ideas of Machiavelli and Hobbes to thinkers like Locke, who believed that sovereignty resides in the people. Other speakers may wish to advance narratives that challenge the dominant historiography of European sovereignty and, in doing so, foreground erased or debased histories forged by the politically and culturally marginalized.

Furthermore, the dominance of global capitalist structures, the presence of international entities such as the United Nations, and the widespread use of the discourse of  'human rights’ and ‘civil rights’ appear to have further limited the efficacy of state sovereignty. Speakers could examine specific instances of current, competing notions and practice of governance or narratives of sovereignty in non-­ European locations, for example in the Asia and Pacific regions, the Middle East, the Caribbean, Africa and the Americas. Analyses may also include notions of autonomy, the individual or the human. In what ways do indigenous projects of decolonization or self-rewrite a dominant history of sovereignty? In what ways do global crises of diminishing natural resources, the rise of inter-­ethnic conflicts, and so on, limit the future relevance of this concept? Does sovereignty have a future? If not, what other ways might we re imagine community?

February 1: ICSCP Directors’ Roundtable Special Topic: “Re-Siting International Cultural Studies Along The Way . . .” –Professor Wimal Dissanayake (Academy for Creative Media, UHM); Professor Geoffrey White (Anthropology, UHM); Professor Mari Yoshihara (American Studies, UHM);Professor Ming-Bao Yue (East Asian Languages and Literatures)

February 8: “The Political Ecology of Food Sovereignty Movements in Neoliberal India” --Cedar (Elizabeth) Louis (PhD Candidate, Geography - UHM; East-West Center Fellow)

February 15: “Return to Fort Kamehameha: Martialing Memory in Occupied Hawai‘i” --Professor Ty P. Kawika Tengan (Ethnic Studies)

March 7: “Mubarak Out, Military In: Egypt After The Elections” –Professor Ibrahim Aoude (Ethnic Studies)

March 14: "Attenuated Sovereignties and Possible Futures: The Case of American Samoa" --Professor Faanofo Uperesa ( Ethnic Studies and Sociology)

March 21: “Futures of 'Sovereignty’” -- Professor James Allen Dator (Political Science)

April 4: "Imperial Sovereignty and American Slavery in the British Atlantic Empire: Rethinking the Somerset Decision of 1772" -- Professor Marcus Daniels (History)

April 11: "When Will Datuk Leonard Wood return and save us from the Filipinos?" Southern Philippine Muslims and their Peculiar Pro-American Sympathies –Professor Patricio Abinales (SPAS)

April 18: "Globalization, Neoliberalism and the disappearance of the 'Commons' in contemporary India" -- Professor S. Krishna (Political Science)

April 25: "Renovations and Revisions: Rhetorics and Native Hawaiian Sovereignty in Hawaiian Hall" -- Professor Lisa King (English Department)

May 2: Title TBA -- Professor Noelani Arista (History)

May 4 (Friday) Capstone Forum featuring presentations by
9:30 am to 11:30 am Graduating ICSCP students (Burns 4005)
International Cultural Studies Certificate
Program Spring 2012 Speaker Series
Topic: Sovereignties in the 21stCentury