- Forum Introduction
How to articulate Native Pacific studies and American studies was a central challenge of this special issue: on what terms might exchanges among these two quite different fields “work,” and for whom? We approached the contributors to the forum for their views on the subject: all of them have worked at places where the fields touch. We invited them to write in whatever ways they saw fit about how Native Pacific studies and American studies could be put into a productive conversation.
The essays that follow vary greatly in modality, tone, affective structure, conceptual approach, and focus; several of the contributors reflect directly and personally on their own routes from the islands through “America”; several discuss attempts to open up and reconfigure knowledge relationships among the fields; several imagine postimperial futures. Most do a little of each.
The diversity of voices and styles of commitment is in keeping with one aim of Native Pacific studies, which is to gather people to tell their stories, understanding that any mo‘olelo (story, history) could be told in myriad ways. [End Page 595]
Paul Lyons is professor of English at the University of Hawai‘i–Mānoa. His current research focuses on collaboration and alliance among Kānaka Maoli and settlers in scholarship and the arts, and on connections between African (American) and Pacific literatures.
Ty P. Kāwika Tengan is associate professor of ethnic studies and anthropology at the University of Hawai‘i–Mānoa and the author of Native Men Remade: Gender and Nation in Contemporary Hawai‘i (Duke University Press, 2008). His research interests include masculinities, militarization, and cultural politics in Hawai‘i and the Pacific.