Melanie and Eri at UHM Spring 2010 Colloquium Series

The UHM Women's Studies Program is pleased to close our Spring 2010 Colloquium Series with the two Capstone presentations by Melanie Medalle and Eri Oura, graduate students in the Advanced
Women's Studies (AdWS) Certificate Program.

Each student enrolled in the AdWS Certificate program designs, develops, and completes a research and/or community involvement project that culminate s in a publishable- quality work or comparable
product, and a Capstone presentation given in the student’s final semester of the program. Melanie Medalle's presentation is entitled: "'1898 Unfortunates' : Sex, Race, and Space in the Philippine-American War" and Eri Oura's talk, "“Racial Tensions are Simmering in Hawaii’s Melting Pot”: Deconstructing Representations of the 2007 Waikele Case"

The event will take place at 2424 Maile Way, Saunders 624 (the Harry Friedman Room in the Political Science Department) Friday, April 30, 2010 from 12:30pm-2pm. Please spread the work.

Bianca Isaki

'1898 Unfortunates' : Sex, Race, and Space in the Philippine-American War

Melanie Medalle

Gathered in Paris on December 10, 1898, Spain and the United States signed the Treaty of Paris, in which Spain ceded and sold to the United States the territory it had occupied for over three centuries
in Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines. At the signing of this massive real estate transfer, all persons native to the colonies implicated in the transaction were barred entry from the meeting, as
the enfleshment of their bodies were blurred in the language of the document. Drawing on violent tableaus such as this, in this paper I resituate an alternative genealogical imaginary of the control and
production of colonial and imperial bodily membership and intimacy.

In its first overseas insular colonial projects in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans at the turn of the nineteenth century, American proponents of imperial expansion continued a longer US project of
racialized sexuality/sexualize d raciality discourse production. The subaltern experience and contestation of this moment rendered a vastly different conceptualization and contribution to the development of US imperial aspirations and imaginaries of itself. I focus here on the period surrounding the Philippine-American War, explore a selection of cultural texts and consider how aesthetic and discursive narratives serve to coalesce and dissipate the imagination of the realities that
the subject and the state both fluidly inhabit. I argue that technologies of imagination are critical in the self-making of disparate and yet intimately connected bodies in a tightening transnational geography of power and resistance.

“Racial Tensions are Simmering in Hawaii’s Melting Pot”[1]: Deconstructing Representations of the 2007 Waikele Case

Eri Oura

In 2007, a Native Hawaiian family was involved in a physical altercation with a haole military couple as a result of a minor traffic accident. This case caught the attention of local and national media sources because of the violent nature of the physical and verbal actions that were exchanged. The description of the case in the media was disturbingly one-sided, portraying the Pa’akaulas (who
self-identify as Native Hawaiian) as racist and barbaric, while the Dussells remain to be represented as the only victims in the case. Before the hearings for the two Pa’akaula men involved in the incident, police and FBI investigated the case to determine whether the assaults were racially motivated and could be considered a hate-crime because the phrase “f-----g haole” was used during the incident.

Shortly after the investigation began, USAToday published an article entitled “Racial Tensions are Simmering in Hawaii’s Melting Pot,” which questioned Hawai’i’s tourist-based economy’s claims to
being a harmonious “melting pot” society that is the model for multiculturalism. The article also prompted national attention to the many of the losses Native Hawaiians have been facing since the
mid-1990s and the resurgence of political resistance for independence, but missed many critical points about the history of colonialism and neo-colonialism in Hawai’i. Instead, the article blamed Native
for the racial tensions in Hawai’i and included many statements that represent haole as the victims.

This essay deconstructs the representations of this case in local and national news media and analyzes how these articles construct the “perpetrators” and “victims” through different processes of colonialism and neo-colonialism. The results of this study questions how gendered these constructed roles are and what the role and nature of the American nationalist government in Hawai’i.

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