Dr. Kealani Cook Talks Book at UH Hilo

The History Department to host author of “Return to Kahiki: Native Hawaiians in Oceania”

Editor-in-Chief Peter Holden Chao

Poster for 'Return to Kahiki' presentation

Dr. Kealani Cook will be on campus Friday, Oct. 19 to discuss his book “Return to Kahiki: Native Hawaiians in Oceania” in University Classroom Building (UCB) room 127 from 12-1:15 p.m. The event is being sponsored by the History Department, the History Club, and the Pacific Island Studies Certificate but is open to all students.

The History Department invited Cook to discuss his recently published work, a core textbook used in History 316, followed by a book signing. The book “analyzes the relatively little known experiences of Native Hawaiian missionaries, diplomats, and travelers, shedding valuable light on the rich but understudied accounts of Hawaiians outside of Hawaiʻi.”

History student James Miura tells Ke Kalahea, “the book demonstrates the side of Hawaiian history that is often not really thought of; the post-19th century attempts to rekindle ties with the other islands across Oceania.” He continued, “for a number of Native Hawaiians they were attempting to keep those ties to the other islands in tact in a rapidly changing world.”

“I was led to realize my ideas about the separations that existed across the Pacific were arbitrary,” says Muria. “I was limited to a landlubber’s perspective of the world with the idea of oceans as separation instead of connection.” Muria added that having the opportunity to have an author come and speak allows for students to learn about research and the process of writing.