Keynote – Emalani Case
Emalani Case recently relocated to ʻEwa Beach, Oʻahu from Wellington, New Zealand after spending four and a half years studying and working abroad. Originally from Waimea on the Big Island of Hawaiʻi, she grew up in a small town, immersed in the stories and the histories of her place. Coupled with her life-long training in hula, or Hawaiian chant and dance, she thus learned to see the world—or each landscape, seascape, and skyscape—as being “storied.” This fueled her passion for writing and studying literature, which eventually led to her BA and MA degrees in English; to her efforts to learn to speak ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi and then to work with it, research it, write it, and even translate it; and most recently, to her PhD work in Pacific Studies at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, where she continued to study stories, genealogies, and ancestral connections and obligations across Oceania.
Emalani will now continue to share her love of stories and histories in her new position as Assistant Professor in Hawaiian-Pacific Studies at the University of Hawaiʻi-West Oʻahu. As a Hawaiian woman, scholar, activist, writer, blogger, and dancer, she is deeply engaged in issues of indigenous rights and representation, dietary colonialism and food sovereignty, art and activism, and political independence and social justice.