Hoʻokaiāulu: Public Humanities in the Pacific Speaker Series

Hoʻokaiāulu: Public Humanities in the Pacific Speaker Series showcases inspiring individuals who are actively engaged in the public humanities, understood as the humanities, arts, and culture in the public domain. “Hoʻokaiāulu” can be translated as “making or fostering community” and all of our featured speakers in this series have accomplished exactly that through their important work in the public humanities. All speakers are currently pursuing or have already earned a PhD and their public humanities work is focused in the Pacific. These one-hour conversations are livestreamed for the public. They are co-hosted by UH Mānoa Associate Professor of English, Craig Santos Perez and UH Mānoa Associate Professor of American Studies, Brandy Nālani McDougall. This speaker series is sponsored by the Mānoa Center for the Humanities and Civic Engagement (MCHACE) and the Mellon Foundation American Council of Learned Societies Scholars and Society Fellowship.

February 15, 2022 at 4:30pm (HST)

Image of Shannon Cristobal

Shannon Cristobal is the director of Hawaiʻi History Day & K-12 Humanities Programs at the Hawaiʻi Council for the Humanities. She was born and raised in Kalihi and ʻĀlewa Heights. She is a Ph.D. student in the College of Education, Department of Educational Foundations, at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. She is a passionate Filipinx scholar, educator, and advocate in the decolonial process that aims to educate and strengthen families, communities, and educational institutions in Hawaiʻi.

March 1, 2022 at 1pm (HST)/ March 2, 2022 at 9am (GU)

Image of Kimberlee Kihleng

Kimberlee Kihleng has served as the executive director of Humanities Guåhan, formerly the Guam Humanities Council, since 2005. Kihleng has 25 years of experience working with cultural heritage organizations and institutions throughout the Pacific. Prior to leading Humanities Guåhan, Kihleng served as the executive director of Mission Houses Museum in Honolulu, and she was the visiting scholar in Micronesian Studies at the University of Guam (1997-2000). She has carried-out long-term ethnographic research in Pohnpei, and served as the first Historic Preservation Officer for the Federated States of Micronesia national government. Kihleng, a Fulbright Scholar, earned both her MA and PhD in Anthropology from the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa, and her BA in Anthropology from the University of Arizona.

March 23, 2022 at 10:30am (HST)

Image of Kelsey Amos

Kelsey Amos is a writer, non-profit professional, and entrepreneur. She has a PhD in English from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and is co-founder and COO of Purple Maiʻa Foundation. Kelsey grew up in Waipiʻo Uka and currently lives in Nuʻuanu with her partner, Jordan, and son, Marco. Her ancestors came from Japan, the British Isles, and France.

March 28, 2022 at 3pm (HST)/ March 29, 2022 at 11am (GU)

Image of Michael Lujan Bevacqua

Michael Lujan Bevacqua, Ph.D. (Familian Bittot and Kabesa) taught Guam History and Chamoru language at the University of Guam for 10 years, runs a weekly podcast called Fanachu! and currently works as the curator for the Guam Museum. With his brother Jack, they run a creative company called The Guam Bus that publishes Chamoru language books, comics and learning materials. He is a co-chair for the political status educational outreach group Independent Guåhan and a member of Guam’s Commission on Decolonization.

April 26, 2022 at 5:30pm (HST)

Image of Lyz Soto

Lyz Soto was born on the Hāmākua coast on the island of Hawaiʻi and raised on the islands of Maui and Oʻahu. She was the Executive Director of Youth Speaks Hawaiʻi and Pacific Tongues for more than ten years—teaching spoken word and poetry to youth in Hawaiʻi, Aotearoa, Papua New Guinea, and the Marshall Islands. Lyz worked in construction for nearly twenty years and has also taught 20th century American poetry, spoken word, and Pacific Island literature for more than ten years. She is a published poet, acclaimed performer, and dramaturg and theater director. She has her PhD in English from University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and she is currently working as Communications Officer for Hawaiʻi Council for the Humanities.

May 3, 2022 at 2pm (HST)

Image of Aiko Yamashiro

Aiko Yamashiro is the coeditor of Value of Hawaiʻi 3: Hulihia (UH Press, 2021), and executive director of Hawaiʻi Council for the Humanities. Some of her poetry can be found in Blackmail Press, and essays on Ke Kaupu Hehi Ale. Her dissertation from the UHM English Department (May 2020) was on community-engaged poetry in Hawaiʻi, and can be found online. Aiko hopes we can all write and share poems more often.