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Communities throughout the state have been resilient throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, not to mention the everyday challenges that we have all persevered through in 2021. With different situations have come a need for additional levels of compassion and support. We all sometimes need that extra helping hand, whether it is from a food or clothing drive, helping to take care of a family member or supporting local businesses. These are some of the reasons why the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Department of English has selected the 2021 Word of the Year for Hawaiʻi as care.

“Care is at the heart of everything that has transpired during the last year—whether in health care because of the pandemic or the kind of care for one another that various social justice movements have called for,” said Department Chair and Professor S. Shankar. “We have had to make sure we engage in self care even as we care for one another. We have had to be both careful and caring.”

In 2021, UH displayed extraordinary care—from providing the most up-to-date health care guidance to its community, to establishing various funds to help students financially during the pandemic, to providing a world-class education despite our students, faculty and staff having to navigate through pandemic challenges.

Merriam-Webster selected vaccine as its 2021 Word of the Year. The 2020 Hawaiʻi Word of the Year was resilience.

More about the Department of English

UH Mānoa’s English department offers a comprehensive curriculum in English studies at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Students are able to pursue study in creative writing, composition and rhetoric, literary studies and cultural studies. Composition and rhetoric classes include place-based writing and Indigenous and digital rhetoric. Students can take creative writing classes in poetry, fiction and creative non-fiction. Literature and cultural studies courses offered range from Hawaiian and local literature to Shakespeare, American literature and Asian American film. For more about the UH Mānoa Department of English and its programs of study, visit its website.

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