Beyond Rainbows: What Hawai‘i’s “Local” Poetry Has Taught Me about Pedagogy

  • Morris Young


As a graduate student in Ann Arbor in the 1990s, I found myself often writing about Hawai‘i: its literature, the students, the place. As a Local, someone who was born and raised in Hawai‘i and who uses this designator of community identity, I wanted to keep alive the possibility that I might return there one day and work with the students, literature, and writers who I focused on for the many seminar papers, conference presentations, and eventually dissertation that I wrote. But beyond this longing to maintain a connection to Hawai‘i, I also began to see in its Local literature lessons about learning and teaching, theories about pedagogy, and stories about students and teachers. I saw in these writings a connection to Hawai‘i’s students, a connection between a Local teacher and Local students, and a possibility for a pedagogy that could move beyond initiating students into dominant American discourse and toward a more productive engagement with their community.


Local Identity Local Culture Multicultural Pedagogy Local Student Local Literature 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Lois-Ann Yamanaka, Wild Meat and the Bully Burgers (New York: Farrar, 1996).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Arif Dirlik, “The Global in the Local,” in Global/Local: Cultural Production and the Transnational Imaginary, ed. Rob Wilson and Wimal Dissanayake (Durham: Duke University Press, 1996), 21–45.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Wing Tek Lum, “Coloring a Rainbow,” in Frontiers of Asian American Studies: Writing, Research, and Commentary, ed. Gail M. Nomura, Russell Endo, Stephen H. Sumida, and Russell C. Leong (Pullman, WA: Washington State University Press, 1989), 200.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Houston A. Baker, Jr., Blues, Ideology, and Afro-American literature: A Vernacular Theory (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1984), 66–67.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    E.D. Hirsch, Jr., Cultural literacy: What Every American Needs to Know (New York: Vintage, 1987).Google Scholar
  6. Allan Bloom, The Closing of the American Mind (New York: Touchstone, 1987).Google Scholar
  7. 6.
    Eric Chock, “On Local Literature,” in The Best of Bamboo Ridge: The Hawaii Writers’ Quarterly, ed. Eric Chock and Darrell Lum (Honolulu: Bamboo Ridge Press, 1986), 6.Google Scholar
  8. 7.
    Darrell Lum, “Beer Can Hat,” in The Best of Bamboo Ridge, ed. Eric Chock and Darrell H.Y. Lum (Honolulu: Bamboo Ridge Press, 1986), 175–183.Google Scholar
  9. 8.
    See Suzanne, Romaine, “Hawai‘i Creole English as a Literary Language,” in language in Society 23:4 (1994), 527–554.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 9.
    Charlene J. Sato, “Sociolinguistic Variation and Language Attitudes in Hawai‘i,” in English Around the World, ed. Jenny Chesire (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991), 657.Google Scholar
  11. 10.
    Eric Yamamoto, “The Significance of Local,” Social Process in Hawaii 27 (1979), 101–115.Google Scholar
  12. 11.
    Jonathan Y. Okamura, “Why There Are No Asian Americans in Hawaii: The Continuing Significance of Local Identity,” Social Process in Hawaii 35 (1994), 161–178.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Darrell H.Y. Lum, “Local Literature and Lunch,” in The Best of Bamboo Ridge, ed. Eric Chock and Darrell H.Y. Lum (Honolulu: Bamboo Ridge Press, 1986), 4.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Diane Kahanu, “Ho. Just Cause I Speak Pidgin No Mean I Dumb,” in The Best of Bamboo Ridge, ed. Eric Chock and Darrell H.Y. Lum (Honolulu: Bamboo Ridge Press, 1986), 43.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    June Jordan, “Nobody Mean More to Me Than You and the Future Life of Willie Jordan,” Harvard Educational Review 58:3 (1988), 363–374.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Alice Walker, The Color Purple (New York: Washington Square, 1982).Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Eric Chock, ed., Haku Mele O Hawaii, Vol. 15 (Honolulu: Office of Instructional Services, Department of Education, State of Hawaii, 1989).Google Scholar
  18. 23.
    Eric Chock, ed., small kid time Hawaii (Honolulu: Bamboo Ridge Press, 1981).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Joan Retallack and Juliana Spahr 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Morris Young

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations