The Center for Biographical Research is pleased to announce the winners of this year’s Biography Prize for outstanding creative, critical, or theoretical work in the field of life writing by University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa graduate students.
This year’s awardees produced outstanding research on Hawaiʻi subjects. The doctoral award goes to a full biography of a 20th century Hawaiʻi artist. The masters award this year is especially notable, as it honors the first prize-winning submission composed entirely in ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi. More detailed descriptions of the projects, and the judges’ comments appear below.
“Juliette May Fraser: A Kamaʻāina Life in Art” by Sharon Weiner
The judges appreciated how detailed, well researched, and clearly written your chapter was. We found the details about camouflage work particularly interesting. We also admired how you put the chapter’s details, many of them seemingly mundane, together in a compelling way to tell a rich narrative about Fraser and her expanding circle of influence. As well, we appreciated the diversity of your sources, and your skill in providing contexts for those featured in the chapter.
“Heleleʻi Ka Ua Lilinoe, Ola Ka Honua” by Jacob Hauʻoli Lorenzo-Elarco
The evaluator described how you used an arresting framework to address how we come up with pen names; your extensive research in the Hawaiian-language newspapers along with pertinent secondary/English-language sources; and your success in combining intellectual biography and using clues in that work to write a speculative biography on limited information. He also appreciated your discussion of kapu, and your writing style, which he found reminiscent of the nineteenth century author you are writing about. He praised your use of sustained metaphors of mist, rain and water that he noted would be particularly valued by those who read traditional moʻolelo. Our committee reached clear consensus based on these strengths that your thesis is deserving of the prize.