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Professor of English

Amy Nishimura grew up on the Big Island where she spent her formative years in Hilo.  


Ph. D.  Comparative Literature:  University of Oregon

  • Asian American and Asian/Pacific American Literature
  • Feminist Literary Theory

M.A.  English:  California State Polytechnic Pomona

  • African American Literature
  • Rhetoric and Composition

B.A. English:  University of Hawai‘i at Manoa

Professor of English

University of Hawai`i West O`ahu: 2007-present

Courses Taught

  • English 100:  Freshmen Composition
  • English 196:  Developmental Composition (Designed Course)
  • English 100T (Designed Course)
  • English 200:  Composition II
  • English 240:  Introduction to Literary Studies
  • English 257B:  Multi Ethnic Literature of the United States
  • English 257C:  Literary Themes
  • English/HPST 476:  Contemporary Literature of Hawai`i
  • English 300:  Literary Theory
  • English 300F:  Composition Theory for Teachers (Designed Course)
  • English 320B:  Literature of War (WI)
  • English 396A:  Research Literacy Skills (Designed Course)
  • English 340:  19th Century American Literature (WI)
  • English 341:  20th Century American Literature (WI)  
  • English 372:  Asian American Literature (WI, Designed Course)
  • English 441:  Gender and Sexuality in Literature and Film
  • English 380:  Multicultural and Postcolonial Literature
  • English 440B:  Toni Morrison and Lois Ann Yamanaka (Designed Course)
  • English 491:  WI Senior Project (Directed Over Twenty Individual Projects)
  • English 496:  Japanese American Internment Literature (WI, E Focus; Designed Course)
  • English 496:  Expository Writing for Teachers (Co-Designed Course)
  • English 496:  Studies in Television and Film (Designed Course)
  • English 499:  Directed Reading           

Frances Davis Teaching Award (Nomination).  Spring 2008.

Instructor:  2004-2007

SUNY at Stony Brook University:  Program in Writing and Rhetoric 

Courses Taught

  • English 369:  Asian American Literature
  • English 204:  Literary Analysis and Argumentation
  • Writing 103:  Advanced Writing Workshop
  • Writing 102:  Intermediate Writing Workshop
  • Writing 101:  Beginning Writing Workshop

Merit Award for Service and Excellence in Teaching.  Spring 2006.

One-Year Visiting Position: (I did not accept) 2004

University of California, Santa Barbara: Asian American Studies Department

One-Term Visiting Lecturer: (I did not accept) 2003

Claremont McKenna College Pomona: Asian American Studies Department

Faculty Lecturer: 2000-2004

Bellevue Community College: English Department

Courses Taught

  • American Studies 200:  Asian American Women Writers
  • Ethnic Studies 207: Indigenous Literature
  • English 201:  The Research Paper
  • English 101:  Written Expression
  • English 092:  Developmental Writing for Native Speakers
  • English 093:  Developmental Writing for Non-Native Speakers
  • English 072: Developmental Writing

Bellevue Community College Writing Center Supervisor: 2001-2003                                                       

Graduate Teaching Fellowship: 1999-2000

University of Oregon, Eugene:  Ethnic Studies Department

Courses Taught

  • Ethnic Studies 101:  Introduction to Ethnic Studies
  • Ethnic Studies 102:  Introduction to Ethnic Studies

Graduate Teaching Fellowship: 1998-1999

University of Oregon, Eugene:  English Department

Courses Taught

  • Writing 121:  Freshmen English I
  •  Writing 122:  Freshmen English II

Faculty Lecturer: 1996-1997

California State Polytechnic University, Pomona:  Department of English and Foreign Languages

Courses Taught

  •  English 095:  Basic Communication Skills I
  •  English 096:  Basic Communication Skills II
  •  English 105:  Freshmen English II

Faculty Lecturer: 1996-1997

California State Polytechnic University, Pomona:  English Language Institute

Courses Taught

  • ELI 5:  Ethnic Literature of the United States
  • English for ESL Students

Teaching Assistant:  1995-1996

California State Polytechnic University Pomona:  Annenberg Foundation Project "Creating Electronic Multicultural Communities"

Course Taught

  • CPU 499:  Comparative Cultural Influences on Medical Care and Health Communities (distance education course with CSU Bakersfield)

Teaching Associate:  1994-1995

California State Polytechnic University, Pomona:  Department of English and Foreign Languages

Courses Taught

  • English 104:  Freshmen English I
  • English 105:  Freshmen English II
  • English 301:  Writing for the Professions

See Work Experience

Selected Publications 

From Barbed Wire to Imagined Walls:  Honouliuli, Spaces of Containment, and Modern Military Ownership.  Book Manuscript Accepted 2017.  University of Nebraska Press.  

“From Priestesses and Disciples to Witches and Traitors:  The Japanese American Women of Honouliuli.”  Social Process in Hawaii.  University of Hawai`i at Manoa, Fall 2014.

Encyclopedia Entries.  Asian American Studies:  John Okada, Yoshiko Uchida, Japanese American Fiction.  December 2013.  Ed.  Lan Dong.

“Gender Politics in the Academy:  Negotiating the Line Between Masculine and FeminineRhetoric.”  Public Policy Forum.  Oxford University, December 2010.

“Trauma and The Feminine Identity: Re-Constructing Agency and Communication in Nora Keller's Comfort Woman.” The Malaise of Identity: Traditions, Roots, Origins and Cultures. Trickster:  Academic Journal of Intercultural Studies.  September.  2010.

“Reimagining happily-ever-after in Bharati Mukherjee’s Jasmine.”  Transnationalism and the Asian American Heroine:  Essays on Literature, Film, Myth and Media.  Ed.  Lan Dong.  Mcfarland Press, October 2010.

"Speaking Outside of the Standard: Local Literature of Hawai‘i."  Asian American Literary Studies.  Ed.  Guiyou Huang.  Edinburgh University Press, September 2005.

"Gary Pak." Encyclopedia of Asian American Literature. Ed. Guiyou Huang. Greenwood Publishing Group, 2008.


Film Interview.  Honouliuli Film of O‘ahu.  Director Brian Kawamoto.  2017.

Invited Reviewer for First Year Composition Textbook:  Critical Readings for College Writers Oxford University Press, 2014. 

Review of Living Pidgin: Contemplations on Pidgin Culture. Lee A. Tonouchi. Pacific Reader. November 2004.

Review of In The Name of Hawaiians: Native Identities and Cultural Politics. Rona Tamiko Halualani. Pacific Reader. September 2005.

Consultant, UHWO in Coordination with James Campbell High School.  Title IIA Grant.  "Teaching Expository Writing for Teachers."  2009-2010.

Participant.  National Park Services Grant:  Honouliuli.  Phase II (research on women internees).  2010-2012.

Participant.  National Park Services Grant:  Honouliuli.  Curriculum Planning:  English 496, Japanese American Internment Literature.  2009-2010.

Co-Designer.  UHWO in Coordination with Leeward High Schools.  Title IIA Grant.  "Teaching Expository Writing for Teachers."  2010-2011.

Co-Designer and Co-Curricular Coordinator.  "Teaching Expository Writing for Teachers."  Title IIA Grant.  UHWO and the P-20 Initiative.  2010.

University Research Council Travel Grant Award.  Pacific Ancient Modern Language Association Conference.  Claremont, CA.  November 2008.

University Research Council Travel Grant Award.  Northeast Modern Language Association Conference.  Buffalo, NY.  February 2008.

My dissertation reflects my interest in how writers dispel notions that speaking/writing in forms other than “Standard” English is “fractured,” “broken,” or “incoherent.”  Narratives and poetry written by authors Darrell Lum Lee Tonouchi, Lois-Ann Yamanaka, Juliana Spahrs, Zamora Linmark, Nora Okja Keller, and Lisa Linn Kanae demonstrate how Pidgin, otherwise known as Hawaiian Creole English, has a diverse, working-class heritage.  During the first half of the 1900s, people of Korean, Portuguese, Puerto-Rican, Japanese, Filipino and Chinese descent worked under oppressive conditions but rallied against the exploitative practices of plantation owners.  In order to communicate with one another, they created a communal language.  The language is representative of a polyvocal society, a society that continues to negotiate what it means to be a “Local” person who lives in Hawai’i.

  • Asian American Literature
  • Asian/Pacific American Literature
  • Postcolonial Theory
  • Feminist Literary Theory
  • Ethnic Literature of the United States
  • Rhetoric and Composition


Selected Presentations and Invitations

Invited Participant.  “Women in Leadership Conference.”  Harvard Faculty Club. Boston. October 2018. 

“From Barbed Wire to Imagined Walls: Honouliuli, Spaces of Containment, and Modern Military Ownership.”  Association for Asian American Studies Conference.  San Francisco, CA.  March 2018.

Invited Participant.  “Internment and Honouliuli.”  Association for Asian American Studies.  April 2017.

“Internment and Honouliuli.”  Oceanic and Popular Culture Association.  Chaminade University, Hawai‘i.  May 2016.

Invited Participant.  “From Priestesses and Disciples to Witches and Traitors:  The Japanese American Women of Honouliuli.”  UH Manoa.  Anthropology Department Series. April 2015.

Invited Participant.  “From Priestesses and Disciples to Witches and Traitors:  The Japanese American Women of Honouliuli.”  UH Manoa Anthropology Department Series.  April 2015.

“Transnationalism in Gary Pak’s A Ricepaper Airplane.”  Association for Asian American Studies Conference.  San Francisco, CA.  April 2014.

“From Priestesses and Disciples to Witches and Traitors:  The Japanese American Women of Honouliuli.”  Association for Asian American Studies Conference.  Seattle, WA.  April 2013.

Invited Speaker.  “The Women of Honouliuli.”  Hawai‘i Women’s History Conference.  August 2013.

Invited Participant.  “Assessment and College Writing.”  College Composition and Communication Conference.  March 2012.

Invited Participant.  “Thinking Out Loud.”  Radio Show on KZOO hosted by Brian Niiya.  October 2012.

“From Priestesses and Disciples to Witches and Traitors.”  Japan Studies Association Conference.  Honolulu, HI.  January 2012.

Invited Participant.  “Assessment and College Writing.”  College Composition and Communication Conference.  March 2012.

Invited Participant.  Oxford Round Table:  Women in History.  Oxford University: Manchester College.  August, 2011.

“UHWO West Oahu Multidisciplinary Research Team.”  Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai`i, Day of Remembrance.  Hawai`i.  February 2011.

“The Malady of Asian/Pacific Settler Colonialism.”  Pacific Ancient Modern Language.  Association Conference.  Claremont, CA.  November 2011.

“Re-Imagining Happily-Ever-After” in Bharati Mukherjee’s Jasmine.  Cultural Studies Association Conference.  Chicago, IL.  March 2011.

“Crime Motifs and Plantation Pathos in Chris McKinney’s The Tattoo.”  Modern Language Association Conference.  Los Angeles, CA.  January 2011.

“Complicit and Articulate Silences in Philip Kan Gotanda’s Sisters Matsumoto.”  Pacific Ancient Modern Language Association Conference.  Chaminade University, HI.  November 2010.

“Gender Politics in Higher Education.”  Oxford Round Table:  Problems and Prospects: Women in Higher Education.  Harris Manchester College, Oxford.  July 2010.

Area Chair.  Asian American Studies.  Oceanic Popular Culture Association Conference.  Chaminade University, HI.  May 2010.

“Transnational Crossings in Gary Pak’s A Ricepaper Airplane.”   Pacific Ancient Modern Language Association.  San Francisco State University, CA.  November 2009. 

Moderator/Chair.  “Cultural Intersections and Trans-Pacific Crossings in African-American and Asian American Literature.”  Oceanic Popular Culture Association Conference.  Chaminade University, HI.  May 2009.

Area Chair.  Asian American Studies.  Oceanic Popular Culture Association Conference. Chaminade University, HI.  May 2009. 

Moderator/Chair.  “20th Century O’ahu Fictions against Colonial Discourse.” Association for Asian American Studies Conference.  Honolulu, HI April 2009.  

“Inter-Generational Trauma and Violence in Asian American Literature.”  Association for Asian American Studies Conference.  Honolulu, HI.  April 2009.

“Re-Constructing the Asian American Body and Plantation Pathos in Chris McKinney’s The Tattoo.”  Pacific Ancient Modern Language Association. Claremont Pomona College, CA. November 2008.

Invited Participant.  “Literature as Commercial Enterprise—the writer as performer or  salesperson in Bharati Mukherjee’s Jasmine.”  Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States/MELUS-MELOW, India.  November 2008.                      

Maui Consortium.  Professional Learning Communities.  Maui Community College, HI. March 2008. 

Moderator/Session Chair.  “Workshop Panel:  Dialogics of American Literature.”  Oceanic Popular Culture Association Conference.  Chaminade University, HI.  May 2008.

“Integrated Silence and Communication in Nora Keller’s Comfort Woman.”  Northeast Modern Language Association.  Buffalo, NY.  April 2008.

“Made in Hawaii:  Home Grown Literary Productions” 6th Annual Arts and Humanities Conference, University of Louisville—Center for Sustainable Urban Neighborhoods and the Baylor Journal of Theatre and Performance.  Honolulu, HI.  January 2008.


  • Association for Asian American Studies (AAAS)
  • Modern Language Association (MLA)
  • Native American and Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA)
  • MELUS:  Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States (MELUS)
  • University of Hawai‘i Professional Assembly (UHPA)


Selected Service Endeavors

Chair.  Humanities Division.  Fall 2018-present.  This Division includes 28 full-time faculty and 35-40 lecturers, depending on academic programming and demand.

Team Member.  University of Hawai‘i Professional Assembly Negotiating Team.  Spring 2016-present.

Faculty Representative.  University of Hawai‘i Professional Assembly.  Spring 2018-present.

Committee Member.  Professional Development Day Steering Committee.  Fall 2017; Spring 2018.

Ex-Officio.  Chancellor’s Leadership Speaker Series.  Fall 2017-present.

Coordinator.  Professional Development.  Fall 2015-present. 

Co-Author.  Program Review for the Humanities Division.  Fall 2014-Spring 2015.

Committee Member.  Academic Development Plan.  Represented the Humanities Division.  Spring 2016.

Interim Coordinator.  Center for Teaching Learning Excellence.  Spring 2015.

Senator.  UHWO Faculty Senate for the Humanities Division.  Fall 2014-Fall 2016.

Chair.  Division Personnel Committee for Contract Renewal Applications.  Humanities Division.  2015-2017.

Member.  Various Faculty Personnel Committees.  2012-Present.

Chair or Member.  Various TPRC (Tenure Promotion Review Committees).  2012-Present.

Chair.  Various Search Committee Structures.  

Member.  Various Search Committees:  UHWO Library Director; No‘eau Center Director; Assistant Professor of History; Instructor of History; Academic Program Officer; Assistant/Associate Professor of Creative Media; Assistant Professor of Education.

Member.  Hawai`i Graduation Initiative Committee:  Developmental English (ENG 100T).  Spring 2013-2015.

Writing Coordinator:  English Lecturers.  UHWO Summer and Fall 2012.  Hired and Supervised 6 Lecturers.

Presenter.  Composition Workshop:  Introduction for New Lecturers of ENG 100 and 200.  Summer 2010.

Consultant.  Department of Education and the P-20 Initiative.  Expository Writing Course Guide.  2010-2011.

Presenter.  Professional Development Day Workshop:  Writing-Intensive Approval Workshop.  Spring 2009.

Member.  System-Wide Speech Articulation Committee.  Spring 2009. 

Member.  WASC Steering Committee.  UHWO.  2008-2010.

Co-Chair.  Writing Committee.  UHWO 2012-2014 and 2008-2010.

Chair.  Writing Committee. UHWO.  2010-11.

Writing Coordinator:  Responsible for hiring and mentoring lecturers to deliver ENG 100, 100T, and 200; addressing course equivalencies for ENG 100 and 200.  2008-Spring 2013. 

Member.  System-Wide Writing Advisory Committee.  Department of Education and the P-20 Initiative.  2008-2009. 

Member.  First-Year Experience Program:  Forming Learning Communities.  Spring 2008.

Member.  HI-PASS.  Maui Consortium:  Professional Learning Communities.  Spring 2008. 

Co-Faculty Advisor.  GSA Club.  UHWO.  Spring 2008-2010.

Co-Faculty Advisor.  Humanities Club.  UHWO.  Fall 2008-2012 

Member.  First Year Experience Cadre, Learning Community:  ENG 100, SD 100, and PSY 100, Fall 2010.

Member.  Writing Assessment Sub-Committee for the Humanities Division.  Spring 2008. 

Member.  Faculty Senate Charter Revision Committee.  UHWO.  2009-2010.

Examiner.  UHWO Writing Assessment Exam.  AY 2007-08. 

Co-Chair.  Writing Task Force.  UHWO.  2007.

Member.  System-Wide Writing Intensive Committee (WI).  University of Hawai`i.  2007-2014.

Member.  System-Wide Freshmen Writing Committee (FW).  University of Hawai`i.  2007-2014.