Jon Osorio—October 8-11, 2008

Jon Osorio is the Director of the Kamakakuokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies in Honolulu, Hawai'i. Dr. Osorio has assisted Luther students in the Paideia II class, Making Decisions for U.S. Schools, who travel to Hawai'i during J-term. He is an expert on the history of Hawai'i, the author of Dismembering Lahui on the colonization of Hawai'i and a musician. He will meet with students from the Paideia II class, the Phi Alpha Theta history honor society and will play a gig of Hawaii'ana pop music and pro sovereignty protest music at Marty's Cyber Cafe. See tentative schedule below.

A Personal Biography by Jonathan kay Kamakawiwo'ole Osorio:

"I am a scholar of nineteenth century political and social history in Hawai'i and have written a book Dismembering Lahui which details the colonization of Hawai'i as a slow and insinuitive process that heavily depended on Hawaiians being converted to the law. I have also been a constant activist and advocate for Hawaiian self-determination, attending and organizing protests and demonstrations for Hawaiian language immersion schools, protection of the land from military abuse, in opposition to imperialism, including American imperialism and I submitted an intervention at the Permanent Forum for Indigenous Issues at the UN calling for decolonization in Hawai'i.

I am a full proffesor on the faculty at the Kamakakuokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies where I have developed and taught classes in history, law as culture, music as historical texts, and research methodologies for and from indigenous peoples. I am also a bureacrat, having been the director of the Center for the past three years, helping to design and implement the Masters of Arts degree in Hawaiian Studies at UH Manoa, and helping to create a new School of Hawaiian Knowledge that combines two hitherto separate departments, Hawaiian Studies and Hawaiian Language. I am familiar with how government bureaucracies actually work, and while I'm not thrilled with its waste (of time and resources), I have developed a peculiar kind of patience with its operation.

I am a faithful husband and an engaged father who has sent all of his children to public schools unless or until they were admitted to the Kamahameha Schools, coached AYSO soccer for three of my children and have fostered and adopted our latest child. I am a Christian, or more specifically a Lutheran (ELCA), which is important to me since our brand of Lutherans tend to be religious skeptics and fiercely independent politically.

I think that Hawaiian sovereignty is about restoring our faith in the law and its ability to restore justice and fairness. I think it is much less about acquiring resources and much more about protecting them and assuring the survival of these islands for the generations to come. I think it is about safeguarding our right to live, speak, think and behave as Hawaiians and to teach our children that they may be Hawaiians and not Americans if they wish. I think that the Hawaiian sovereignty movement will ultimately produce a nation and a government devoted to peace and disarmament, careful management of our lands and waters, and protective of the cultural diversity that has defined this place. I don't really see that these aims are compatible with federal recognition and believe that our people should work for a much greater vision: the restoring of full independence under a multi-ethnic nation state that is culturally Hawaiian. I do not believe that such a nation, honoring public service, personal responsibility, sharing and non-violence would appeal to everyone."

Schedule:

Wednesday, October 8
 
Phi Alpha Theta Banquet Lecture "Political Activism and the Role of the Historian."

Thursday, October 9
10:30 a.m.: CFL Main Hall, speak in Daily Chapel

Jones Professorship Luncheon "Aloha 'Aina and Koaho'olawe"

January Paideia II class "Education, Schooling and Hawaiians"

Friday, October 10

12:15 p.m.: Paideia I class section 24, The Hawaiian renaissance and sovereignty movement in Drama

8:30 p.m.: Marty's Cyber Cafe, "The Musician as Historian"