Noenoe Silva: The Power of the Steel-Tipped Pen

February 5, 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Mānoa Campus, Hamilton Library, 2550 McCarthy Mall Add to Calendar

Professor Political Science, Noenoe Silva will share insights from her recent award-winning book The Power of the Steel-tipped Pen: Reconstructing Native Hawaiian Intellectual History.

Silva reconstructs the indigenous intellectual history of a culture where, using Western standards, none is presumed to exist. Silva examines the work of two lesser-known Hawaiian writers, Joseph Ho‘ona‘auao Kanep‘u (1824–ca. 1885) and Joseph Moku‘ohai Poepoe (1852–1913), to show how the rich intellectual history preserved in Hawaiian-language newspapers is key to understanding Native Hawaiian epistemology and ontology. In their newspaper articles, geographical surveys, biographies, historical narratives, translations, literatures, political and economic analyses, and poetic works, Kanepu‘u and Poepoe created a record of Hawaiian cultural history and thought in order to transmit ancestral knowledge to future generations. Celebrating indigenous intellectual agency in the midst of U.S. imperialism, The Power of the Steel-tipped Pen is a call for the further restoration of native Hawaiian intellectual history to help ground contemporary Hawaiian thought, culture, and governance.

Event Sponsor
Library Services, Mānoa Campus

More Information
Clem Guthro, (808) 956-7205,,, Noenoe book poster (PDF)

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