Sunday, November 4, 2012

Welcome, Noelani Arista!

We're thrilled to announce a second guest blogger for the month of November:
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Noelani Arista joins us from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, where she is an Assistant Professor in the Department of History. In 2010 she received the Allan Nevins Prize (best-written doctoral dissertation on an American subject) from the Society of American Historians for her dissertation "Histories of Unequal Measure:  Euro-American Encounters with Hawaiian Governance and Law, 1793-1827."

The dissertation, now a book manuscript, "is about transformations in Hawaiian law and governance in the initial decades after contact and settlement, from 1796-1830." It "focuses upon the sale of a Hawaiian woman to an English whaleship captain in 1825, the resultant kapu on Hawaiian women which followed, and a series of outrages or attacks on mission stations over the kapu which spawned a naval inquiry in Charleston, MA and a libel case before a Hawaiian chiefly council." This project is particularly exciting for its use of untranslated Hawaiian language materials, including laws, depositions and letters. 
Her second book project, tentatively titled Ke Kumu Aupuni: The Source of Nationhood – From Sacred Law to Constitution, "examines the complex cross-cultural and international negotiations that went into the construction of this constitution, and looks closely at the promulgation of the constitution, a time fraught with the British takeover of the islands and a Hawaiian diplomatic mission abroad to establish the legitimacy of the new Kingdom."

Professor Arista is also the recipient of several prestigious fellowships, including the Charles Eastman Pre-Doctoral Fellowship at Dartmouth College and a Mellon-Hawai‘i Doctoral Fellowship.

Welcome, Noelani Arista!

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