Open Access Senior Thesis
Bachelor of Arts
The first half of my two-semester thesis analyzes tropes in postcolonial ecocriticism and applies them to literature written by Asian settlers of Hawai’i, in order to evaluate what successful anti- and de-colonial praxis would look like in English and World Literature. While postcolonial ecocriticism seeks to understand how colonialism and its legacies interact with humans’ natural and built environments, I am interested in how postcolonial ecocriticism navigates and conceptualizes of newer states such as Hawai’i. I first investigate how the United States’ violent legacies of colonization linger throughout the Islands today. For Native Hawaiians, or kānaka maoli, material loss is empirical and straightforward: land, water, energy are all commodified and sold back to them at unaffordable prices. Thus, I focus on the immaterial: the cultural production of Hawai’i, the mainland imaginary of Hawai’i and how it reproduces and reifies the islands’ colonial history, and how fiction by and for Hawai’i can function as a worldmaking vehicle that allows for de- and postcolonial futures.
Shinn, Alice, "LOCALS ONLY: The Postcolonial Exotic and Representations of Asian Settlers and Native Hawaiians in “Hawaiian” Literature" (2022). Pomona Senior Theses. 260.