The Paul Lyons Scholarship Endowment benefits MA students at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa whose scholarship and research interests focus on the Literatures and Languages of Oceania (Pacific islands, including Hawai‘i and Aotearoa). No preference will be given to which degree program as long as the scholar’s academic focus is related to this purpose. Funds shall be used for costs associated with attendance (e.g. tuition, books, fees, etc.).
Awards: Each fall, the selection committee will make 2 awards of $1,000 each.
Eligibility: Recipients must be full-time or part-time graduate students pursuing a Master of Arts degree at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa.
Requirements: Submit a letter of application of no more than 2 pages, a brief CV, and the names of two references. No support letters please. In your cover letter, please describe your research interest in the Literatures and/or Languages of Oceania (Pacific islands, including Hawai‘i and Aotearoa), and how you are pursuing it in your MA program. Your CV (no more than 2 pages) should list your academic history and relevant activities; course work in the MA program; TA assignments if any; presentations, awards, publications, or other achievements.
Apply: Go to http://www.star.hawaii.edu/scholarship and search for “Paul Lyons” under keyword search.
This award is administered by the Department of English. CPIS encourages qualified students to apply for the annual Paul Lyons Scholarship. In case of questions, please contact the Department of English (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Paul Lyons joined the University of Hawai‘i Manoa (UHM) English Department faculty in 1991, after receiving his BA from Hobart, his MA from the University of Michigan, and his PhD from the University of North Carolina. A scholar of American literature, especially interested in the work of Herman Melville, he was also an accomplished creative writer, having already published his first two novels, Table Legs in 1988 and Going for Broke in 1991.
During his years at UHM he continued a distinguished career in American literary studies and creative writing while also developing a deep commitment to Hawai‘i and the Pacific, culminating in the publication in 2006 of his important book American Pacificism: Oceania in the U.S. Imagination. In 2004, he published his third novel, Button Man, and in 2015 co-edited a special issue of American Quarterly titled Pacific Currents in 2015, which was named “Best Special Issue” of that year by the Council of Editors of Learned Journals.
Prof. Lyons’ published essays include studies of local writers such as John Dominis Holt, Gary Pak, Wayne Kaumualii Westlake, and Richard Hamasaki, as well as classic American literary figures including Herman Melville, Edgar Allan Poe, and Ralph Ellison. Much of his published work concerns theoretical, methodological, and pedagogical issues in the study and teaching of the literature of the Pacific region, from Melville’s Pacific travel narratives to Paul Theroux’s touristic nonfiction to Epeli Hau‘ofa’s meditations on Oceania.
Paul was particularly interested in the complex issues surrounding the formation and maintenance of cross-cultural and inter-racial literary friendships in the colonial context, including an unfinished monograph titled “Native-Settler Collaboration and Friendship in Hawai‘i.” Another large project he was working on at the time of his death was a comparative study of African-American and Oceanian literatures. A recipient of the UH Regents Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2004, Paul Lyons stood out as one of the English department’s most respected and beloved teachers and mentors.