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"Unsustainable Empire: Alternative Histories of Hawai'i Statehood" with Professor Dean Saranillio

Tuesday, April 16, 2019 at 4:30pm

Rockefeller Hall, 230
Central Campus

Please join us as we welcome Dean Saranillio to Cornell University. Professor Saranillio will be presenting writing and research from his recently published book, Unsustainable Empire: Alternative Histories of Hawai'i Statehood (Duke University Press, 2019).

In Unsustainable Empire, Dean Itsuji Saranillio offers a bold challenge to conventional understandings of Hawai‘i’s admission as a U.S. state. Saranillio shows that statehood was neither the expansion of U.S. democracy nor a strong nation swallowing a weak and feeble island nation, but the result of a U.S. nation whose economy was unsustainable without enacting a more aggressive policy of imperialism. With clarity and persuasive force about historically and ethically complex issues, Unsustainable Empire provides a more complicated understanding of Hawai‘i’s admission as the fiftieth state and why Native Hawaiian place-based alternatives to U.S. empire are urgently needed.

BIO: Dean Itsuji Saranillio is an associate professor of American studies and Asian/Pacific/American studies in the Department of Social and Cultural Analysis at New York University. He has published widely in different journals including American QuarterlyJournal of Asian American StudiesSettler Colonial StudiesVerge, and Critical Ethnic Studies Journal, and different anthologies including Asian Settler Colonialism in Hawai‘iPositively No Filipinos AllowedFormations of United States ColonialismValue of Hawai‘i, Part IINative Studies KeywordsThe Settler Complex, and the forthcoming Detours: A Decolonial Guidebook to Hawai‘i.  In New York City he organizes with the NYC Stands with Standing Rock and Decolonize This Place and serves as the co-Director of the Native Studies Forum which helped to create a Native American and Indigenous Studies minor at NYU.

This event is generously co-sponsored with the American Indian & Indigenous Studies Program (AIISP), American Studies, and the History Department at Cornell University.

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History, American Studies Program, Asian American Studies Program, Academic Calendar, American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program


cascal, history, cashum, amstcal, aaspcal, aip

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Contact Name

Alexis Boyce

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Dean Itsuji Saranillio

Speaker Affiliation

Department of Social and Cultural Analysis, New York University

Dept. Web Site

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Free and open to the public.

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