UH Hosts 27th Annual Pacific Islands Studies Conference

Focus is on Pacific and Asian literature and film with special features including the Fall Celebration of Writers and various film premiers in conjunction with

University of Hawaiʻi
Posted: Oct 31, 2002

The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa‘s Center for Pacific Islands Studies presents the 27th Annual Pacific Islands Studies Conference, "Myths, Terrorism, and Justice: Themes in Pacific and Asian Literature and Film," on November 5-8 at the Imin Conference Center on the UH Mānoa campus and other venues. The conference will feature significant new work from filmmakers, fiction writers, poets, and scholars from the Pacific and Asia regions.

Alongside such important films as Act of War (Hawaiʻi) and Utu (Aotearoa/New Zealand), the conference will premiere The Wrestlers (India), The Maori Merchant of Venice (Aotearoa/New Zealand), New Moon (Philippines), and A Poet: Unconcealed Poetry (Indonesia) in conjunction with the Hawaiʻi International Film Festival (HIFF). Conference registration, which is still open, is $35 for general and $10 for students and includes free passes to these four films that are part of HIFF. One-day registrations are available for the conference at $10 per day.

Following these film screenings, filmmakers will engage the audience in thought-provoking discussions of their work and recent world events. Community activists and university scholars will also reflect upon the events of 9/11, discuss the nature and reasons for terrorism, and explore alternative ways of resolving conflict in fiction as well as real life through various panel discussions that are scheduled throughout the four days of the conference.

Another feature of this conference is the Fall Celebration of Writers on Thursday, November 7. In its fourth year, the event is part of the conference but is free and open to the general public. Participants do not need to register for the conference to attend. Coordinated by the UH Mānoa Department of English, the Fall Celebration of Writers will feature several critically acclaimed local writers as well as visiting writers Albert Wendt and Sia Figiel. Figiel will be joined by Vilsoni Hereniko, UH Mānoa professor and playwright and filmmaker, and S Shankar, novelist and critic, in an afternoon panel discussion on their work in relation to the themes of the conference. An evening reading is planned for 7 p.m. with Wendt, one of the best known writers of the Pacific, and Robert Barclay, Kuʻualoha Meyer Hoʻomanawanui, and Caroline Sinavaiana. A small book fair by Native Books is planned to take place before the reading.

A UH Mānoa PhD candidate in the Department of English, Barclay‘s first book, "Melal: A Novel of the Pacific," is published by the University of Hawaiʻi Press and was a fiction finalist for the 2002 Kiriyama Prize. Hoʻomanawanui is also a PhD candidate in English. She is a lecturer in Hawaiian mythology at the Center for Hawaiian Studies and is co-editor of "ʻOiwi: A Native Hawaiian Journal." Sinavaiana is an associate professor in the English department, and her poetry and scholarship have appeared in national and international journals. Her current projects include co-editing a mixed genre collection of indigenous writing by Pacific women and a new collection of poetry and essays, "Nuclear Medicine," exploring some of the metaphysical landscapes of breast cancer, "illness," and healing.

Co-sponsors of the conference are HIFF; Pacific Islanders in Communications, with funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting; and the Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema (NETPAC/USA). The Fall Celebration of Writers is co-sponsored by ʻAʻA Arts; UH Mānoa‘s Board of Publications, Creative Writing Program, Department of English, and Division of Languages, Linguistics and Literature; President‘s Diversity and Equity Fund; Hawaiʻi Committee for the Humanities; and Hawaiʻi Review.

For more information about the conference or the Fall Celebration of Writers, visit www.hawaii.edu/cpis/myths.html.

For more information, visit: http://www.hawaii.edu/cpis/myths.html