UH West Oʻahu assistant professor receives $50,000 postdoctoral fellowship

University of Hawaiʻi-West Oʻahu
Julie Funasaki Yuen, (808) 454-4870
Public Information Officer, Public Relations and Marketing Department
Posted: Apr 30, 2010

Dr. Leilani Basham
Dr. Leilani Basham
University of Hawaiʻi–West Oʻahu's Dr. Leilani Basham recently received a $50,000 award through the Kohala Center's Mellon-Hawai‘i Postdoctoral Fellowship Program. The award will provide Dr. Basham time away from teaching to turn her dissertation into a book manuscript for submission to publishers.
The Kohala Center's Mellon-Hawai‘i Doctoral and Postdoctoral Fellowship Program is designed for Native Hawaiian scholars early in their academic careers and for others who are committed to the advancement of knowledge about the Hawaiian natural and cultural environment, Hawaiian history, politics, and society. With the Mellon-Hawai‘i Doctoral and Postdoctoral Fellowship Program, postdoctoral fellows are given the opportunity to publish original research early in their academic careers.
Dr. Basham traces her genealogy to Ko‘olauloa and Ko‘olaupoko, O‘ahu and Kekaha, Kaua‘i. She has a bachelor's degree in Hawaiian studies, with a focus on traditional society, a master's degree in history of the Pacific Islands, and a doctorate in political science, focusing on indigenous politics. Her research centers on understanding Hawaiian history, political and cultural knowledge and practice from a Hawaiian perspective, using predominantly Hawaiian language resources. Specific areas of research include mele lāhui (Hawaiian nationalist poetry), Hawaiian identity and value systems, as well as Hawaiian sexuality. In addition to her education at the university, Dr. Basham also spent 15 years studying hula, graduating as an ‘ōlapa and a kumu hula. Currently, she is the kumu hula of her own hālau and is also an assistant professor in the Hawaiian-Pacific Studies program at the University of Hawai‘i–West Oʻahu, teaching both Hawaiian Language and Hawaiian Studies.