A new lecture series focusing on Samoan language, culture, history and contemporary issues will debut on Oct. 18 on the UH West Oʻahu campus.
The theme for the inaugural Sāmoana Lecture Series is “e au le inaʻilau a tamaʻitaʻi” (literally: the women’s row of thatch reached the top of the house first; metaphorically: women can achieve anything they set their mind to). This traditional Samoan proverb extols the ability of women to succeed and excel in any endeavor they take, even superseding men in areas in which they normally dominate. Three women who live and work in our own Samoan and Pacific communities in Hawaiʻi will be giving the talks.
The series was organized by Dr. Sāʻiliemanu Lilomaiava-Doktor, an Associate Professor of Hawaiian-Pacific Studies, and John Patu Jr., a UH West Oʻahu lecturer in Samoan and Pacific Islands Studies. The speakers were selected to highlight indigenous Samoan voices in academia and to help make the research they produce more accessible to Samoan communities, especially in the Samoan diaspora.
“All three women have extensive experiences in the field they research, teach, and outreach within their communities,” Patu said in an email.
The three scholars will cover various topics, including indigenous land tenure in American Sāmoa, the status and power of women in (independent) Sāmoa, and domestic violence against women in contemporary Samoan society.
The talks are free and open to students, faculty and the public. They are scheduled from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and are:
Oct. 18: “Land Rights and Law in American Sāmoa” Dr. Line-Noue Memea Kruse will give this talk in the Nāulu Center. Dr. Line-Noue Memea currently teaches at Brigham Young University – Hawaiʻi. She was also the first person of Samoan descent to be a territorial planner and manager of the Planning division in the American Sāmoa government and brings a wealth of experience in issues pertaining to land rights and the law.
Oct. 31: “Ancestral Ethics and Samoanness: The Samoan American Women” Loau Tuiloma Dr. Luafata Simanu will give this talk in the Nāulu Center. Assistant Professor Simanu teaches Samoan language and literature at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s Indo-Pacific Languages and Literatures department and also coordinates the PACITA (Pacific Islanders in the Arts) initiative. Her research focuses on women and power and the status of tamaʻitaʻi Sāmoa (Samoan women) as “feagaiga” – the traditional role as the sacred sibling (the sister) in the Samoan family.
Nov. 14: “Domestic Violence Against Women in Modern Day Sāmoa” Dr. Tina Tauasosi-Posiulai will give this lecture in D254. Dr. Tauasosi-Posiulai is the Program Coordinator for the Tinumasalasala and Pacific Passion Pipeline programs at UH Mānoa and helps with college recruitment and retention initiatives for Pacific Islanders. Her research focuses on domestic violence perpetuated against women by their partners in Independent Sāmoa.
The series is sponsored by UH West Oʻahu Humanities/Hawaiian-Pacific Studies, UH West Oʻahu, and Nāulu Center. For more information on Samoan language classes call (808) 689-2355 or email wosamoan@hawaiʻi.edu.