The students—U‘ilani Dasalla, Tynsl Kailimai, Ciarra-Lynn Parinas, and Leomanaolamaikalani Peleiholani-Blankenfeld—presented their research papers at the International Journal of Arts and Sciences conference in Rome earlier this month.
Four English majors at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo presented their research papers at the International Journal of Arts and Sciences conference in Rome, Italy, earlier this month. U‘ilani Dasalla, Tynsl Kailimai, Ciarra-Lynn Parinas, and Leomanaolamaikalani Peleiholani-Blankenfeld attended the conference, which featured over 100 international scholars at The British School at Rome.
The students’ research presentations and literary analyses originated in a spring 2017 course, Graphic Novels and Comics (ENG 448), taught by Kirsten Møllegaard, associate professor of English and chair of the department. Under Møllegaard’s guidance, the four students expanded on their original class research papers and partnered up to write substantial literary analyses that will be submitted for publication in the International Journal of Arts and Sciences.
“These four UH Hilo English majors’ successful international conference presentations and the stellar caliber of their research projects demonstrate the overall quality of a UH Hilo education and helps to put UH Hilo on the map as an institution that supports and encourages undergraduate student research in the humanities,” says Møllegaard.
Dasalla and Peleiholani-Blankenfeld focused their joint presentation on the way the comics medium, in particular autobiographical graphic novels, can help heal and overcome personal trauma. Their presentation, “Healing with Graphic Novels: A Psychoanalytic Analysis of Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home,” investigates the therapeutic properties of art in Bechdel’s acclaimed coming-of-age narrative.
Kailimai and Parinas jointly examined comics author Alan Moore’s seminal works in their presentation entitled, “Fighting for Justice or Creating Chaos: An Analysis of V for Vendetta and Watchmen.” Kailimai and Parinas explored the political underpinnings of these two novels by focusing on the themes of vigilantism and terrorism in conjunction with the overall question, “what makes a hero a hero?”
Monica S. Gallamore, a lecturer of history at the University of Central Oklahoma and who attended the conference with a group of her own undergraduate students, later wrote in an email to Møllegaard: “Your students are impressive and their research is fascinating.”
The students’ travel and conference attendance were made possible by the Howard and Yoneko Droste Endowment of the UH Hilo Department of English. Howard and Yoneko Droste served as UH Hilo faculty in art and English for more than forty years combined.
-UH Hilo Stories