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Revolutioning Constructions of Native Hawaiian Identity

By M. Kanani Milles


Native Hawaiians today are in the midst of a Hawaiian Renaissance, a rebirth of Native Hawaiian identity that has the potential to be revolutionary. In response to a colonial history that has consistently Othered and devalued Native Hawaiian identity, contemporary Native Hawaiian writers are constructing a new Native Hawaiian identity to be reborn in literature. It is with this in mind that the author chose to analyze and critique literature of the Native Hawaiian Renaissance, in order to contemplate how Native Hawaiian writers can revolutionize framings of native identity. This thesis problematizes constructions of Native Hawaiian of Native Hawaiian identity in selected autoethnographic literature of the Hawaiian Renaissance, with regard to their investment in a language of authenticity and essentialism. Methodology includes analyzing Native Hawaiian literature to examine the ways in which Native Hawaiians’ own ambiguity as multiracial and multicultural colonial subjects are uncontainable by the language of authenticity they employ to construct Native Hawaiian identity

Year: 2003
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