Author Archives: alicia

International Women’s Day

March 8 is International Women’s Day, celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. Today we share with you four articles from our archives featuring the lives of women from the U.S., Asia and the Pacific.

Issei Women and Work: Washerwoman, Prostitutes, Midwives and Barbers” by Kelli Y. Nakamura, Hawaiian Journal of History, Vol. 49, 2015.

Hawaiian Journal of History 49“[A]s women were paid less than men, many had to take on additional ‘women’s jobs’ like laundering, cooking, and sewing to ensure their families’ economic survival. . . . For Issei women, Hawai‘i offered unprecedented personal and economic opportunities, transforming traditional ideas of ‘proper’ gender roles in both America and Japan. By the necessity of engaging in different types of work, Issei women broke down the traditional divide that separated the domestic and public spheres.”


It’s Women’s Work” by Jenny Zorn, Yearbook of the Association for Pacific Coast Geographers, Vol. 69, 2007.

“Many of the women sitting out here today are the only woman in their department. That’s not easy. I was the first and only woman hired in my department in its 40-year history. Only last year was the second woman hired in that department.

“I found mentors in a variety of places: geographers at other campuses, people in other disciplines, and the principal at my kids’ elementary school. Wherever I saw a leader I could learn from, I watched, I read their biographies; I sought mentoring wherever I could find it.

“So I appreciate the differences I see. I appreciate the opportunities I’ve had that many before me did not.”

Traveling Stories, Colonial Intimacies, and Women’s Histories in Vanautu,” by Margaret Rodman, The Contemporary Pacific, Vol. 16, No. 2, Fall 2004.

“The story of the 1937 death of an eighteen-month-old girl named Wilhemina (Mina) Whitford in the care of her ni-Vanuatu nursemaid, Evelyn, frames this article. The Whitford’s version of this story was heard in the course of fieldwork with descendants of settler families. They tie Mina’s accidental death to an affair Evelyn was having with a male settler. What about Evelyn? How could she be located and her version of events recorded? More generally, how can the unwritten histories of women’s experiences be recovered in a Pacific island context? How can indigenous women write their own histories of gender in the contexts of colonial experience?”

Gender Politics in the Korean Transition to Democracy” by Jeong-Lim Nam in Korean Studies, Vol. 24, 2000.

untitled“Women’s activism in South Korea was shaped by their role in the opposition to military dictatorship. For example, their struggles against sexual torture and state violence mobilized opposition groups around the issues of human rights, social justice, and democratic politics. . . . Their contributions to the grassroots struggles were crucial in determining the outcome of their activism, illustrating the importance of women’s roles in the Korean transition to democracy. Although these groups had different interests and goals, their mobilization and protests converged on the strategy of the opposition to the inhumane ruling of the military government.”

Learn more about UHP journals here.

Reception with Dr. Yosihiko Sinoto on publication of Curve of the Hook (Manoa)

Oli by Auli‘i Mitchell at Native Books on Dec. 16. Image courtesy of Mānoa.

Years in the making, the new issue of Mānoa features the work of archaeologist Yosihiko Sinoto, now 92. Upon publication of this special issue, titled Curve of the Hook, Native Books in Honolulu hosted a reception with Dr. Sinoto on Dec. 16.

The reception began with an oli, a chant, by Auli‘i Mitchell, pictured above. Mitchell, a cultural anthropologist, spoke of how he witnessed Dr. Sinoto’s archaeological work in the Pacific years ago. “For me, personally, seeing your work changed my life,” he said.

Dr. Sinoto’s research fundamentally changed the way the world views the accomplishments of ancient Polynesians, whose early voyages are considered to be among the great achievements in human history.

Colleagues, friends and family spoke of Dr. Sinoto’s work and legacy, presenting him with leis, photographs and thanks. Their recollections lent a personal touch to an already impressive and inspiring life in archaeology. Colleagues spoke of Dr. Sinoto’s first student quarters at the University of Hawaii (there were a lot of cats) and field seasons in Tahiti (he was a great dancer).

curve-manoa28-1-precvr-to-uhpCurve of the Hook is the first book-length work in English about Dr. Sinoto’s life and work. The full-color book has more than 100 illustrations, including rare photos from Dr. Sinoto’s private collection, plus notes and a list of references.

Order a single issue or receive this special issue as part of a subscription to Mānoa here.

Philosophy East and West, vol. 66, no. 1 (2016)

In the introduction to this issue, Arindam Chakrabarti writes:

It is not a semantic accident that four key notions of social ethics are also key concepts of theater. These are the concepts of character, playing a part/role, performance, and acting. Of course, one could object that there is a touch of pun in this claim: A character in a drama is not quite the same as good or bad character in a virtue ethics; acting in theater is mere play-acting, whereas acting in social and personal life is serious business. But the distinction between play and serious business does not mean that the former is any less important than the latter.

Continue reading

The Contemporary Pacific, vol. 28 no. 1 (2016)

Birds With Skymirrors (2010). Photo by Sebastian Bolesch, featured in The Contemporary Pacific Vol. 28 No. 1. Concept, design, choreography, and direction by Lemi Ponifasio.

This issue of The Contemporary Pacific features a dialogue on Pacific Studies from both Lea Lani Kinikini Kauvaka and Terence Wesley-Smith, political reviews on Micronesia and Polynesia, the work of artist Lemi Ponifasio, and the following articles:

  • Local Norms and Truth Telling: Examining Experienced Incompatibilities within Truth Commissions of Solomon Islands and Timor-Leste by Holly L. Guthrey
  • Multidimensional, Gender-Sensitive Poverty Measurement: Perspectives from Fiji by Priya Chattier
  • Musical Melanesianism: Imagining and Expressing Regional Identity and Solidarity in Popular Song and Video by Michael Webb
  • Cartooning History: Lai’s Fiji and the Misadventures of a Scrawny Black Cat by Sudesh Mishra

Find the full text of the issue at Project MUSE

The Contemporary PacificAbout the Journal

The Contemporary Pacific provides a publication venue for interdisciplinary work in Pacific studies with the aim of providing informed discussion of contemporary issues in the Pacific Islands region.


Single issue sales and annual subscriptions for both individuals and institutions available here.


Submissions must be original works not previously published and not under consideration or scheduled for publication by another publisher. Manuscripts should be 8,000 to 10,000 words, or no more than 40 double-spaced pages, including references. Find submission guidelines here.

Hawaiian Journal of History, Vol. 49

Hawaiian Journal of History 49

A Japanese woman with child, Pu‘unēnē, Maui from the issue article “Issei Women and Work: Washerwomen, Prostitutes, Midwives, and Barbers.”
Photographer Ray Jerome Baker. Courtesy Hawai‘i State Archives.

Past histories of the Japanese experience in the Islands have emphasized “the reticent and subservient picture bride and the hard-working, silent plantation field laborer,” writes Kelli Y. Nakamura in her article “Issei Women and Work: Washerwomen, Prostitutes, Midwives, and Barbers.” While authentic enough, these characterizations are simplistic and fail to portray the wide range of activities performed by Issei women, according to Nakamura.

Economic conditions enabled many Issei women use their skills as domestic workers to extend their influence outside the family sphere and create economic opportunities beyond the agricultural fields. Many found opportunities in traditional “women’s work,” such as laundering, cooking, and sewing. Others were active as midwives and barbers, two professions that were dominated by Japanese women, and some even out-earned men by working as prostitutes. According to Nakamura, these women rendered key services in the development of Hawai‘i’s economy, though their contributions have been overshadowed by the stereotype of the passive picture bride and industrious but silent field laborer.

Nakamura’s article is in good company with the articles and book reviews that make up this volume of the Hawaiian Journal of History. Other featured articles include:

  • Race, Power, and the Dilemma of Democracy: Hawai‘i’s First Territorial Legislature, 1901 by Ronald Williams Jr.
  • The Copied Hymns of John Young by Ralph Thomas Kam
  • The Last Illness and Death of Hawai‘i’s King Kalākaua: A New Historical/Clinical Perspective by John F. McDemott MD, Zitta Cup Choy and Anthony P.S. Guerrero MD
  • Buffalo Soldiers at Kīlauea, 1915–1917 by Martha Hoverson
  • Remembering Lili‘uokalani: Coverage of the Death of the Last Queen of Hawai‘i by Hawai‘i’s English-Language Establishment Press and American Newspapers by Douglas v. Askman
  • Genevieve Taggard: The Hawaiian Background to a Radical Poet by Anne Hammond
  • Hawaiian Outrigger Canoes of the Bonin Archipelago by Scott Kramer and Hanae Kurihara Kramer

Find the full text of the issue at Project MUSE

Hawaiian Journal of History 49About the Journal

Published annually since 1967, the Journal presents original articles on the history of Hawai‘i, Polynesia, and the Pacific area as well as book reviews and an annual bibliography of publications related to Island history.


Individuals may receive the journal by joining the Hawaiian Historical Society.


The HJH welcomes scholarly submissions from all writers. See the Guidelines for Contributors.

You can also read more about this issue at the Hawaiian Historical Society’s website.

Journal of World History, vol. 25, no. 4 (2014)

The Journal of World History 25:4

Map featured in the article, “Writing a World History of the Anglo-Gorkha Borderlands in the Early Nineteenth Century” by Bernardo A. Michael from this issue of the Journal of World History. Image Source: British Library, IOR, X/1058/1, APAC, the British Library; reproduced with permission from the British Library

In the final issue of its 25th anniversary volume, the quarterly Journal of World History honors its founding editor, Jerry H. Bentley (1949-2012). Current editor Fabio López-Lázaro writes about Bentley,

Over the years, and with increasing focus, Bentley’s writing encouraged many to take up this “difficult work of actually investigating historical reality in the larger world.” But there was an implicit model as well (less often perceived) in the arc of his career, from his early methodological realizations to his final culminating recommendations for the future. We can learn from the way Bentley’s trajectory went from young historian of Renaissance humanism in the 1970s to early advocate of world history in the 1980s and then finally to mature proponent of world-historical research in the early 2000s, especially because this evolution parallels key developments in the recent history of the modern historical profession.

The issue specifically honors “Jerry’s dedication to the stewardship of the journal and his students’ careers.” The issue features the following articles by world history scholars, all students of Jerry H. Bentley.

  • “Together They Might Make Trouble”: Cross-Cultural Interactions in Tang Dynasty Guangzhou, 618–907 c.e. by Adam C. Fong
  • Beyond the World-System: A Buddhist Ecumene by Geok Yian Goh
  • “With a Pretty Little Garden at the Back”: Domesticity and the Construction of “Civilized” Colonial Spaces in Nineteenth-Century Aotearoa/New Zealand by Erin Cozens
  • Writing a World History of the Anglo-Gorkha Borderlands in the Early Nineteenth Century by Bernardo A. Michael
  • Travel and Survival in the Colonial Malay World: Mobility, Region, and the World in Johor Elite Strategies, 1818–1914 by Keng We Koh
  • Advertising Community: Union Times and Singapore’s Vernacular Public Sphere, 1906–1939 by David Kenley
  • “One’s Molokai Can Be Anywhere”: Global Influence in the Twentieth-Century History of Hansen’s Disease by Kerri A. Inglis
  • Review Essay: Jerry Bentley, World History, and the Decline of the “West” by John Pincince
  • Book Reviews

Find the full text of the issue at Project MUSE

About the Journal

Devoted to historical analysis from a global point of view, the Journal of World History features a range of comparative and cross-cultural scholarship and encourages research on forces that work their influences across cultures and civilizations.


Individual subscription is by membership in the World History Association. Institutional subscriptions available through UH Press.


The Journal of World History is proud to introduce a new article and peer review submission system, accessible now at at

Biography Vol. 38 No. 3 (2015)

 At the Birzeit University launch, Sonia Nimr (photo courtesy of the author).

Sonia Nimr at the Birzeit University launch, from the Biography issue article, “The Afterlife of the Text: Launching ‘Life in Occupied Palestine,'” by Cynthia G. Franklin. Photo courtesy of author.

In the note that opens the fall issue of Biography, the editors reflect on the how the landscape has changed since the journal launched in 1978:

Far more articles now deal with the Global South, and the impact of memoir, biography, testimonio, oral history, personal witness before boards and commissions, and online platforms and social media on our notions of identity, and our awareness of marginalized and suppressed peoples has been astounding, and has demanded our attention. A quick look at the topics of Biography’s most recent, and very popular, special issues and clusters—Posthumanism, Baleful Post-coloniality, Corporate Personhood, Malcolm X, Lives in Occupied Palestine, and Online Lives 2.0, and with Indigenous Lives and Caste and Life Narratives on their way—suggests that the interdisciplinary orientation of the journal has endured, but taken on new forms.

In this new issue, Cynthia G. Franklin’s essay “The Afterlife of the Text,” describes how, through launching the Biography issue “Life in Occupied Palestine” in Palestine and elsewhere, contributors’ stories took on a life and generated stories of their own—ones that, while continuing to document the impact of Israeli occupation and settler colonialism, point towards possibilities for decolonial dialogue, friendship, community, and political organizing.

Other featured articles include:

  • Defining Metabiography in Historical Perspective: Between Biomyths and Documentary by Edward Saunders
  • Soviet Theories of Biography and the Aesthetics of Personality by Dmitri Kalugin
  • Secret Police Files, Tangled Life Narratives: The 1.5 Generation
    of Communist Surveillance by Ioana Luca

Find the full text of the issue at Project MUSE

BiographyAbout the Journal

For over thirty years, Biography: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly has explored the theoretical, generic, historical, and cultural dimensions of life-writing.


Single issue sales and annual subscriptions for both individuals and institutions available here.


Unsolicited manuscripts between 2,500 to 7,500 words are welcome. Email inquiries and editorial correspondence to