Words in the World: Literatures, Oratures, and New Meeting Grounds

February 8, 12:30pm - 8:30pm
Mānoa Campus, Art Auditorium and the KamakakÅ«okalani Center for Hawaiian Studies

The WORDS IN THE WORLD: LITERATURES, ORATURES, AND NEW MEETING GROUNDS symposium, is being held at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa from February 7 to February 9, 2013, featuring speakers including Albert Wendt, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o, Pualani Kanaka‘ole Kanahele, Kimo Keaulana, Hosam Aboul-Ela, Francesca Orsini, and Chantal Spitz.

This symposium has its impetus in the movement within literary, cultural, and performance circles to reconceptualize the field of “world literature.” Working from a location in Hawai‘i and Oceania, the symposium pursues an alternative vision of “words in the world” that foregrounds perspectives and cultural forms from around the world that the field of “world literature” previously peripheralized. A central theme will be the need for the literatures and oratures of the world to engage indigenous aesthetic and ethical traditions of speaking from and for particular places, while developing lines of connection and affiliation among disparate communities of writers and scholars. Toward this end, the symposium brings together literary critics, performance artists, and cultural practitioners—from Hawai‘i, Oceania, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East—to discuss the situations of literatures and oratures both in relation to the earth and to each other.

A practical outcome of the symposium will be a contribution to the archive of methods and pedagogical resources that study the worldliness of literature, including strategies for a new comparativism, along with reading practices elaborated from within emerging networks of literary and cultural production.


Thursday, February 7 at the Art Auditorium

4:00 – 4:30 Introduction to Conference Welcome Chant: Jonathan Osorio Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs Reed Dasenbrock Dean of the Hawai'inuiakea School of Hawaiian Knowledge Maenette K. P. Benham Professor S. Shankar

4:30 – 6:00 Albert Wendt & Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o: Reading and Conversation Introducing Albert Wendt: Vilsoni Hereniko Introducing Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o: S. Shankar Moderator: Cristina Bacchilega

Albert Wendt and Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o will read selections from their literary work and engage in a conversation on the overarching themes of the symposium.

6:00 – 7:00 RECEPTION

7:00 – 9:00 Screening and Discussion of Drua: The Wave of Fire Introduction: Vilsoni Hereniko Respondent: Kara Miller

This film celebrates voyaging on double-hulled canoes in the 18th Century, their demise upon contact with Europeans, and their revival in recent years.


Friday, February 8 at the Hālau o Haumea, Kamakakūokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies

12:30 Welcome: Maenette K. P. Benham

12:45 – 2:15 Mele Panel and Performance Moderator: ku‘ualoha ho‘omanawanui Panelists: Kale Hannahs, Pualani Kanaka‘ole Kanahele, Kimo Keaulana, Jonathan Osorio

With a focus on mele Hawai‘i, the indigenous music of Hawai‘i, this panel will engage with the intersection between orature and literature, as represented by the poetry of song and chant, and performance.

2:30 – 4:00 Literatures of the World Moderator: Paul Lyons Panelists: Hosam Aboul-Ela, Francesca Orsini, Ruth Mabanglo, Craig Santos Perez

This panel will engage from different locations the question of the limits of the concept of World Literature, both in terms of classroom practice and theoretical understandings of literary traditions across the world.

4:15 – 5:30 Global Native Literary Studies Moderator: Alice Te Punga Somerville Panelists: Chantal Spitz, Daniel Justice, Albert Wendt

Rather than proposing how or why Indigenous and Pacific texts might be included in a concept of (and classes about) World Literature on the basis of the fact that these too are “part of the world,” the panelists will be invited to suggest how World Literature, Pacific, and Indigenous Literary worlds might mutually engage.

5:30 – 6:30 RECEPTION

6:30 – 7:45 Performing Arts and Decolonization

An evening of cultural sharing.


SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 9 at the Hālau o Haumea, Kamakakūokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies

9:00 – 10:30 Translation(s) Moderator: Cristina Bacchilega Panelists: Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o, Yung-Hee Kim, Bryan Kuwada, S. Shankar

This panel will discuss the impact of translation on the conceptualization and circulation of literatures and oratures in the world, historically and in the present, and ask how translation practices can contribute to resisting a globalizing pedagogy of "world literature."

10:45 – 12:15 Closing Roundtable

Student Facilitators, including Meghan Leialoha Au, Jacquelyn Chappel, Kim Compoc, Steven Gin, Bryan Kuwada, Cheryl Naruse, Tagi Qolouvaki, No‘u Revilla, Aiko Yamashiro Panelists: Hosam Aboul-Ela, Daniel Justice, Pualani Kanaka‘ole Kanahele, Kimo Keaulana, Francesca Orsini, Chantal Spitz, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o, Albert Wendt

In a similar spirit of an “alternative vision of words in the world,” the Student Hui seeks new and different ways to generate discussion, conversation, observations, and reflection among symposium panelists and participants through capturing reactions, questions, themes, and memories generated from the symposium.

Stay tuned for more information about this symposium on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/events/389065227842284/?ref=ts&fref=ts! We hope you can join us!

Ticket Information
Free and open to the public

Event Sponsor
Department of English and the Hawai‘inuiakea School of Hawaiian Knowledge, Mānoa Campus

More Information
956-7619, https://www.facebook.com/events/389065227842284/

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