Davianna Pōmaikaʻi McGregor, professor and founding member of the Ethnic Studies Department in the College of Social Sciences at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, has been named director for the Center for Oral History. Established in 1976 by the Hawaiʻi State Legislature, the center produces oral histories and interpretive historical materials about lifeways, key historic events, social movements and Hawaiʻi’s role in the globalizing world through the collection, documentation and preservation of the recollections of Native Hawaiians and the multi-ethnic peoples of Hawaiʻi.
“By documenting the life stories of Hawaiʻi’s multi-ethnic kūpuna, the Center for Oral History provides a valuable resource that highlights the rich historic legacy of our multi-ethnic communities and contributes to a greater understanding, respect, appreciation and sense of identity among multi-generational and recently arrived members of our island society,” said McGregor.
“I’m excited that Dr. McGregor is revitalizing the Center for Oral History through new educational programs, visiting scholars and fresh vision,” said Denise Eby Konan, dean of the College of Social Sciences. “Her understanding of Hawaiʻi’s peoples and communities will assure we are capturing significant and meaningful stories in perpetuity.”
About Davianna Pōmaikaʻi McGregor
McGregor is a graduate of UH Mānoa, where she earned her bachelor’s degrees in Asian/Pacific History and Secondary Education, a master’s degree in Pacific Islands Studies, and doctorate in Hawaiian/Pacific History.
Her ongoing research, which includes oral history interviews, focuses on the persistence of traditional Hawaiian cultural customs, beliefs, and practices in rural Hawaiian communities on the main Hawaiian islands. This work is featured in her 2007 UH Press book, Kuaʻaina: Living Hawaiian Culture, which won the Kenneth W. Balridge Prize for best book in any field of history written by a resident of Hawaiʻi 2005–2007.