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Gina Apostol

Acclaimed novelist Gina Apostol will be in residency at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa this spring semester as the Dan and Maggie Inouye Distinguished Chair in Democratic Ideals.

Novels birth characters and impart ideas; however Apostol, an award-winning author, argues that they also build nations, as well as resistance within them. Using the Philippines and U.S. as case studies, she argues that novels have shaped national cultures while seeking to broaden the meanings of democracy and to hold the nations to their revolutionary promises.

“Having Gina Apostol here as our spring 2024 Dan and Maggie Inouye Distinguished Chair in Democratic Ideals provides us with an opportunity to honor the legacy of Dan and Maggie Inouye and to showcase how the creative arts both respond to and shape the civil and civic spheres,” said Peter Arnade, dean of the UH Mānoa College of Arts, Languages and Letters.

During her residency at UH Mānoa, Apostol will teach a semester-long American studies graduate research seminar on “Narration and Nation.” Apostol will also meet with students, faculty and the broader community in a series of free public events.

  • Brown Bag colloquium “Writing A Novel About My Mother: What the Hell Was I Thinking?” February 8, 12–1:15 p.m., Kuykendall Hall 410.
  • Keynote Address “No Democracy Left Behind: On Novels, Nation, and Resistance,” February 22, 6:30 p.m., UH Mānoa Art Auditorium. Register for the event.
  • Colloquium sponsored by American Studies, Ethnic Studies, and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies: “Women in War: Bodies and Minds as Sites of Resistance in Novels,” March 8, 12–1:15 p.m., Kuykendall Hall 306.
  • Panelist at Project 1898 initiative, April 13–14 (time and location to be determined)

Apostol has written five novels, among them Insurrecto and La Tercera. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Los Angeles Review of Books and Washington Post. She has been awarded the Rome Prize, the PEN/Open Book Award, and two Philippine National Book Awards.

Inouye chair

The Dan and Maggie Inouye Distinguished Chair in Democratic Ideals program brings prominent scholars, artists and public intellectuals to Hawaiʻi to share their life experiences and foster public discourse regarding democratic ideals and civic engagement. Established in 2005 by the UH Board of Regents, the Inouye chair is administered jointly by the Department of American Studies in the College of Arts, Languages and Letters and the William S. Richardson School of Law.

For further information, contact Elizabeth Colwill of UH Mānoa Department of American Studies at

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