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mestiza hapa haole Arrow vol 9 no 1 contents
About borderlands VOLUME 9 NUMBER 1, 2010


Mestiza, Hapa Haole, and Oceanic Borderspaces

Genealogical rearticulations of whiteness in Hawai‘i

Judy Rohrer
University of California Santa Barbara


We in the United States are living in a time of heightened racial awareness, tension, and conflict. One relevant area of research focuses on developing a more sophisticated understanding of whiteness, white identities, white privilege, and white supremacy. This
essay is part of a larger project in which I analyze haole (whiteness and white people in Hawai‘i) as a neocolonial American form of situated whiteness. Here I explore some possible elements of a genealogical stance toward haole, understanding genealogy both in the indigenous sense of connection to people and place with its temporal and spatial fluidity, and in the poststructuralist sense of remaining attentive to our will to power, cautious of truth claims, and privileging of nondominant perspectives.

I weave intersectional and Chicana feminist theories with pieces of my own personal story, and hapa haole identity, putting theory to work troubling unified notions of haole. I discuss ‘home’ and ‘homeland’ as they relate to Hawai‘i and desires to belong. Mobilizing genealogy, I argue, remakes both haole and Hawai‘i as more verb than noun, opening up new possibilities for building social change. A genealogical orientation toward haole is not the final ground upon which haoles can solidly stand, rather it offers strategies for imagining and performing haole in more historicized, relational and
contextualized ways.

The full article is available as a PDF document: click here.

© borderlands ejournal 2010



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ISSN 1447-0810