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Library Treasures AY 2021-2022 Winners

Meagan Harden

Meagan Harden (PhD in Geography and Environment), “Beyond Sea to Shining Sea: Reconfiguring American Empire in ‘Micronesia’”

In 1832, French explorer Dumont D’Urville labeled thousands of islands in the western Pacific Ocean “Micronesia,” projecting his assumption of smallness onto an expansive and culturally diverse seascape (Hanlon, 2009). The persisting perception of Micronesia as marginal reproduces the racial logics of colonialism by dismissing the Indigenous knowledges that underpin islander life-worlds. Using the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands archives, my dissertation research investigates imperial permutations in what are today the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, and Palau. I center the political engagement of islander women during the period of independence negotiations during 1969-1985. Using the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands archives, I aim to disrupt conventional representations of Micronesia as peripheral to world systems and instead prioritize the ways in which islanders, and islander women in particular, have positioned the islands and themselves as key actors within global geopolitics. 

Perry Arrasmith

Perry Arrasmith (Master’s in Urban and Regional Planning), “A Fraught Obligation: The Hawaiian Homes Commission and the State of Hawai’i, 1950-1993”

The project will employ the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa’s library system’s physical and digital resources to research how the Territory and State of Hawai‘i have administered the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) and the Hawaiian Homes Commission in a quasi-public manner between the nine years preceding Hawai‘i’s admission into the American Union (1950) and the one-hundredth anniversary of the Kingdom of Hawai‘i’s overthrow by the Committee of Safety and its allies in the U.S. military and diplomatic service (1993). With the aid of those resources available in the Hawaiian and Pacific Collections, the University Archives & Manuscript Collections, and the digital collections of UH Mānoa’s library (evols), this project will identify existing reports issued by local, state, and federal actors on the administration of DHHL. In turn, the identification of these reports will entail a cursory review of those existing reports located in such collections with the intention of crafting a research paper as a final product. A review of this period in the history of DHHL and the Hawaiian Homes Commission is critical to comprehending the past, present, and future of a program fundamentally foundational to the existence of the State of Hawai‘i.

Janine Fujioka

Janine Midori Fujioka (PhD in English), “Japanese Poems, Inscriptions and Messages at Angel Island, 1910-1945; Hawaiian Royalty Pass Through Angel Island, 1910-1945”
From 1910 to 1945 the Angel Island Immigration Station and Detention Center at Fort McDowell in the San Francisco Bay served as the Pacific gateway and entry point to Northern California. The center held Japanese and Japanese Americans as prisoners. They were legal immigrants, picture brides, U.S. citizens and POWs that arrived by ship. The residents left poems, inscriptions and messages on the wooden walls of the barracks which can still be seen today. While the Chinese poems are well documented and translated, the Japanese writings are not. During the same time period (approximately thirty-five years), Hawaiian royalty also traveled to the U.S. mainland passing through Angel Island. For my research, I am tracing the ali‘i journeys and documenting/digitizing the Japanese writings with resources from the Hawaiian and Pacific Collections at Hamilton Library to showcase their experiences, including census data interpretations, maps, genealogy, government documents, Thrum’s and other archival materials.

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