Life Writing and Pacific Island Studies: Student PerspectivesFebruary 28, 12:00pm - 1:15pm
Mānoa Campus, Henke Hall 325
This panel will examine how students in Pacific Islands Studies use
their lived experiences as indigenous people to influence their
academic work. They will discuss how they keep their indigenous
perspective in the forefront of their research. Through film,
language, and visual imagery, the panel will show how Pacific
Islanders are deserving of a place in their own history.
Kenneth Gofigan Kuper is a Chamorro from the Mariana Island of Guam who is currently pursuing his Master's in Pacific Islands Studies. He is the Vice President of the Marianas Club and an officer of Oceania Rising. He also teaches a weekly Chamorro language pocket named, “‘I Finakmatan I Hila’: The Awakening of the Tongue.’ Ken's interests are in language revitalization, decolonization, and indigenous identity.
Jesi Lujan Bennett is a Master’s candidate in the Center for Pacific Islands Studies. She is a Chamorro woman from San Diego, but has family ties to Dededo and Barrigada, Guam. She is president of UH’s Marianas Club and an active participant in Micronesian Connections and Oceania Rising. She is writing a thesis that brings a voice from the Chamorro diaspora to the larger discourse of Pacific Islands Studies.
Leonard Leon is from the Marshall Islands and is currently studying in the Academy for Creative Media and Anthropology Department at UHM. He serves as the student coordinator for the Ethnic Studies Department's Service Learning Program—where he works closely with Native Hawaiian sustainability programs such as Mokauea Island, Ulupō Heiau, Kānehūnāmoku, and Papahana Kuaola—and is the producer of the "Micronesia Connections" show on ʻŌlelo, which promotes public awareness on Micronesian issues in Hawaiʻi
Center for Biographical Research, Mānoa Campus