Imagine Otherwise: J. Kēhaulani Kauanui on Hawaiian Sovereignty

Jan 17, 2019 | Podcast

This week for Imagine Otherwise, I chat with Indigenous studies professor and radio host J. Kēhaulani Kauanui about the histories and futures of the Hawaiian sovereignty movement, why independent media is uniquely suited to telling Indigenous stories, the solidarities between anarchist and Indigenous movements, and how putting consent politics front and center is key to how Kēhaulani imagines otherwise.

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You can also read the transcript and show notes on the Ideas on Fire website, which have links to Kēhaulani’s work and all the concepts, people, and events we discuss on the show (great for teaching!).

Guest: J. Kēhaulani Kauanui

J. Kēhaulani Kauanui is a professor of American Studies and affiliate faculty of anthropology at Wesleyan University, where she teaches courses related to Indigenous studies, critical race studies, settler colonial studies, and anarchist studies. She is the chair of American Studies and the director of the Center for the Americas.

Her books include Paradoxes of Hawaiian Sovereignty: Land, Sex, and the Colonial Politics of State Nationalism (Duke University Press, 2018), Speaking of Indigenous Politics: Conversations with Activists, Scholars, and Tribal Leaders (University of Minnesota Press, 2018), and Hawaiian Blood: Colonialism and the Politics of Sovereignty and Indigeneity (Duke University Press, 2008).

Kēhaulani serves as a co-producer for an anarchist politics show called Anarchy on Air, a majority people-of-color show co-produced with a group of Wesleyan students, which builds on her earlier work on another collaborative anarchist program called Horizontal Power Hour.

Kēhaulani is one of the original 6 co-founders of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA), founded in 2008.

Key quote

“I want a demilitarized world. A world of environmental sustainability, a world that is not premised or based on proprietary relationships, where we don’t own the land, where we don’t own other humans, where we don’t engage people sexually as though we own people. I want nothing less than the end of non-consensual domination.”

– J. Kēhaulani Kauanui on episode 80 of the Imagine Otherwise podcast

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