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Sa'iliemanu
Humanities
D127
Lilomaiava-Doktor
Professor, Hawaiian-Pacific Studies
808-689-2355

My research interests focus on migration, development, diaspora, transnationalism, culture and place. I am interested in indigenous epistemologies such as bringing in the indigenous reference of fa'a-Samoa (Samoan way and culture) and on the indigenous understandings of these concepts and the interactive relationships between them and western/academic approaches to migration, development, and diasporas of people of Oceania or the Pacific. I am interested in theorizing what transnationalism means for conceptions of territory, place, people and nation state. As a trained geographer with a Samoan indigenous background I bring a rich cultural lens to teaching, learning and research. Hawaiian-Pacific Studies is interdisciplinary in approach, I teach across disciplinary boundaries and engage diversity in complex and nuanced way to promote culturally appropriate and socially responsible teaching and learning practices. My recent research examined the role of oral traditions as in storytelling  of our tala le vavau / ancient stories, or stories of old  fagogo / tales, solo /chant,  and tauloto / poems which are rich in alaga'upu / proverbs, and place names that shed light on indigenous understandings of place or fanua in Samoan. I have been a reviewer of articles published in Geography and Pacific Studies journals as well as an external Examiner for thesis and dissertations.

Ph.D. Geography
University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, 2004

M.A. Pacific Islands Studies
University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, 1993

B.A. Geography and Linguistics
University of Newcastle, NSW Australia, 1983

Professor of Hawaiian and Pacific Studies at UH West O‘ahu.

I focus on the Pacific Islands region teaching courses that are multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary in approach. I have worked as a lecturer in Geography at Kapi‘olani Community College while ABD, then at Department of Geography 2004-2006 and Pacific Islands Studies as visiting professor 2007, prior to my present job at University of Hawaii West Oahu.

University of Hawaii West Oahu Fall 2007-present. Teaching and Research

  • PACS 108: Pacific Worlds-Introduction to Pacific Islands Studies

  • GEOG 102: World Regional Geography

  • HPST/GEOG 365: Geography of the Pacific

  • HPST/GEOG 328: Culture and Environment

  • HPST 450: Pacific Islanders Diaspora Experiences

  • HPST/POLS 489: Political Conflicts in the Pacific

  • HPST 496: Contemporary Pacific Islander Issues

  • HPST/HIST 482: Pacific Islands History

  • HPST 496L: Hawaiian and Pacific Perspectives

  • HPST 430 Globalization and Change in the Pacific

  • HUM SEM 300: Humanities Seminar Series

  • HPST/SAM 330 Samoan Oral Traditions (new course Fall 2021)

    University of Hawaii at Manoa 2007

    Center for Pacific Islands Studies Spring 2007

  • PACS 108 Introduction to Pacific Islands Studies

  • PACS 491 Contemporary Pacific

    University of Hawaii at Manoa 2004-2006

    Department of Geography 

  • GEOG 102: World Regional Geography

  • HPST/GEOG 365: Geography of the Pacific

    University of Hawaii, Kapiolani Community College 2001-2002

• GEOG 102: World Regional Geography 2001-2002

Samoa (formerly) Western Samoa 1983-1989

Vaipouli College (High School) May 1983- December 1984
• Taught Social Studies, Geography, and Accounting Grades 9, 10, 11 and 12

Samoa College (High School) February 1985- July 1989
• Taught Social Studies, Geography, Accounting and English Grades 9, 10, 11, and 12

  • GEO 102 World Regional Geography
  • PACS 108 Pacific Worlds: Introduction to Pacific Islands Studies
  • HPST/GEOG 365 Geography of the Pacific
  • HPST/GEOG 328 Culture and Environment
  • HUM 300 Humanities Seminar
  • HPST/SAM 330 Samoan Oral Traditions
  • HPST/GEOG 430 Globalization and Change in the Pacific
  • HPST/HIST 482 Pacific Islands
  • HPST/POLS 489 Political Conflicts and Change in the Pacific
  • HPST 450 Pacific Islanders Diaspora Experiences
  • HPST 496L Hawaiian and Pacific Perspectives
  • HPST 496 Contemporary Pacific Islander Issues

Peer Reviewed Articles:

Lilomaiava-Doktor, Sailiemanu 2020 Oral Traditions, Cultural Significance of Storytelling and Samoan Understandings of Place or Fanua. NAIS Journal Native American and Indigenous Studies Vol 7 No 1: 121-151 **

**My article was honored with an award June 2021. As the message from the association acknowledged: On behalf of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association, we are pleased to inform you that your article, "Oral Traditions, Cultural Significance of Storytelling, and Samoan Understandings of Place or Fanua" (Native American and Indigenous Studies), has been selected as the co-winner of the Most Thought-Provoking Article Prize by the NAISA prize committee. The prize committee judges for the Most Thought-Provoking Article were Astri Dankertsen, ex-officio chair, Nord University, Norway; Chris Andersen, University of Alberta, Canada; Josh Reid, University of Washington; May-Britt Öhman, Uppsala University, Sweden. The committee found your article exemplary in the field.

Lilomaiava-Doktor, Sailiemanu 2020 Women Matai / Chiefs: Negotiating the Paradox of Boundaries and Responsibilities. Pacific Studies Journal Vol 43, No. 1: 61-82

Lilomaiava-Doktor, Sailiemanu 2016 Changing Morphology of Graves and Burials in Samoa. Journal of the Polynesian Society 125 (2): 171-186; DOI: http//dx.doi. org/10.15286/jps.125.2.171-186.

Lilomaiava-Doktor, Sailiemanu 2009 “Beyond Migration: Samoan Population Movement (Malaga) and Geography of Social Space (Va)”, The Contemporary Pacific: A Journal for Pacific Island Affairs. Volume 21 no.1: 1-32. http://scholarspace.manoa.hawaii.edu/handle/10125/15332).

2011 Republication Lilomaiava-Doktor, Sailiemanu 2009 “Beyond Migration: Samoan Population Movement (Malaga) and Geography of Social Space (Va)”, The Contemporary Pacific: A Journal for Pacific Island Affairs. Volume 21 no.1: 1-32 ** Oxford University included this article in a book that provides a comprehensive collection of important research that explores the intersections of migration and culture In Migration and Culture edited by Robin Cohen and Gunvor Jonsson. International Migration Institute, Oxford University Press UK, pp: 641-672 Edward Elgar Publishing. 

Book Chapters Refereed:

Lilomaiava-Doktor, Sailiemanu 2015 “Journeyings: Samoan Understandings of Movement” In Oceanian Journeys and Sojourn: Home Thoughts Abroad edited by Judith A Bennett and Tarcisius T Kabutaulaka, pp: 66-92. Otago University Press

Lilomaiava-Doktor, Sailiemanu 2009 “Samoan Transnationalism: Cultivating Home and Reach” In Migration and Transnationalism: Pacific Perspectives edited by Helen Lee and Steven Francis ANU-E Press, pp 59-71 http://epress.anu.edu.au/migration_citation.html

2014 Republication Lilomaiava-Doktor, Sailiemanu 2009 “Samoan Transnationalism: Cultivating Home and Reach” In Migration and Transnationalism: Pacific Perspectives edited by Helen Lee and Steven Francis ANU-E Press, pp 59-71 http://epress.anu.edu.au/migration_citation.html. In ‘SAMOA: 50 JAHRE UNABHÄNGIGKEIT - Herausforderungen an einen pazifischen Inselstaat’ published in German and English 

Published Study/Viewer’s Guide:

Lilomaiava-Doktor, Sailiemanu 2007 “Trans-Pacific Crossings: Pacific Islanders and Globalization in the Twenty-First Century”. In Original Plays and Classic Humanities, A Special Series from Kumu Kahua Theatre 2006-2007 Season. Viewer’s Guide for Albert Wendt’s Play The Songmaker’s Chair.

Book Review:

2005 Asia Pacific Viewpoint 46: 3, pp 336-37. On Special Issue of Pacific Studies 25, nos. 1- 2, 2002, edited by Judith Moddell: Constructing Moral Communities: Pacific Islander Strategies for Settling in New Places, 220 pages

I am a human geographer whose work also has an interdisciplinary focus engaging cognate areas of geography, indigenous geography, place and identity, development studies, Pacific studies, diaspora, transnationalism and Pacific labor mobility. Discourses and practices relating to migration and identity are strongly inflected with considerations of race and class but also indigenous understandings of concepts of migration, place and identity. The second focuses on how fa'a-Samoa (Samoan culture and way of life) is used as an intellectual tool by Samoans or for that matter Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders as they negotiate their worlds at home and in the new places. Migration does not mean a severance of ties and abandonment of culture. Rather I argue that conventional scholarly approaches to migration have been dominated by economistic perspective. These conceptions of movement are embedded in notions of individualism and the primacy of economic motivations as understood in capitalist terms. Thus, these fail to explain fully what is happening in Pacific Islands societies and their overseas populations where principles of reciprocity, participation, obligation, sharing and collectivism remain strong even in the face of late capitalism, westernization, modernization and globalization. My recent research has focused on Samoan oral traditions as in storytelling or tala le vavau. The rich oral tradition of Samoan storytelling, as heard in the tala le vavau (ancient stories, often translated as myths and legends) e.g. Metotagivale and Alo, highlights the core cultural values that underscore fa’a-Samoa (Samoan culture and ways of knowing) of fanua or place. I argue that Samoan Indigenous ways of understanding place can be synthesized with the phenomenology approach to contribute to a broader academic understanding of place and physical resources.

2020 March SEED grant for Ke Awa Lau o Nāulu Symposium: Protectors of Indigenous Knowledge Through Film. Hawaiian-Pacific Studies. Free and Open to the Public. Postponed due to Covid-19 Pandemic

2018 April SEED grant for Ke Awa Lau o Nāulu Symposium:  Indigenous Knowledge, Activism, Research and Community. Hawaiian-Pacific Studies. Free and Open to the Public.

2014 March SEED grant for Community Outreach and Inreach featuring our Hawaiian and Pacific Islander's cultural experts sharing knowledge with our students. Hawaiian-Pacific Studies. Free and Open to the Public. 

2012 SEED grant for our Senior Capstone students sharing their work with the community and receiving feedback from the students and families. 

June 2007 Research Grant, US Department of the Interior, University of Hawaii Pacific Business Center. I was one of four Co-PI’s investigating the feasibility of establishing knowledge-based industries in American Samoa and Samoa. My specific role was to investigate issues arising from the intersection of fa’a-Samoa with the demands of the knowledge industries in seeking sustainable development for American Samoa and Samoa.

November 2005 Pacific Islands Emerging Researcher of the Year, International Council for the Study of the Pacific Islands (ICSPI), UNESCO. Every two years, this award recognizes one graduate student/researcher for doctoral research that has originality with outcomes that contribute to Pacific Islands’ knowledge and coherence in its use of western and indigenous epistemologies/paradigms. Travel 
award University of Hawaii Foundation, Department of Geography Enrichment Fund to travel to University of Auckland to receive ICSPI award, “Pacific Islands Emerging Researcher of the Year”

May 2005 Wien’s Award for Ph.D. student, Department of Geography, University of Hawai`i. Each year this award recognizes one doctoral student for superior academic research and effort in teaching, departmental service, and community spirit.

1990-1992 Fulbright Fellow, University of Hawai`i at Manoa, for MA in Pacific Islands Studies

1989-1990 East-West Center Internship, Pacific Development Program and Pacific Islands Studies (research internship), University of Hawai`i at Manoa

1980-1983 Australian Development Assistance Bureau scholarship award, through government of Western Samoa, for undergraduate study Bachelors degree at University of Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia

Dissertation Research Awards

2002 Graduate Students Organization Grant University of Hawaii to present paper at ASAO at Auckland University, Feb

2001 University of Hawai`i, Globalization Research Center: for dissertation research Travel, May 

1999 American Association of University Women (AAUW) Pacific Fellowship: for dissertation research, 1999-2000, May

1999 Social Science Research Council (SSRC) New York, Minority Dissertation Fellowship, International Migration Program, at University of California, Irvine. 

1998 University of Hawai`i Arts and Sciences Council: for pre- dissertation fieldwork in Samoa, June-August

 

External Examiner for Ph.D. dissertations/theses

  • 2021 National University of Samoa, Apia SAMOA
  • 2020 University of Queensland, Brisbane AUSTRALIA
  • 2017 University of the South Pacific, Suva FIJI
  • 2015 Auckland University of Technology, NEW ZEALAND
  • 2011 University of Auckland, NEW ZEALAND
  • Human and Cultural Geography, Development, Migration, Transnationalism, Diaspora 
  • Pacific Islands Studies, Samoa Studies 
  • Indigenous Methods, Indigenous Epistemologies
  • Phenomenology of Place, Place Attachment

INVITED PAPERS/LECTURES

2015 Study Abroad Program University of South Dakota. Lecture on Migration, Transnationalism and Globalization in the Pacific. East-West Center, Honolulu Feb 8, 2015

2014 “Sustainability, Ethics, Entrepreneurship and Culture in American Samoa”. Paper for Sustainability, Ethics and Entrepreneurship (SEE) Conference, May 20-23, Denver, Colorado

2014 Samoan Beach Fale (Hut) and Tourism: Potential of Indigenous Tourism and Indigenous Entrepreneurship. Paper presented at Center for Pacific Studies, Critical Seminar Series, University of Auckland. July 25, 2014

2013 “Samoan Beach Fale (Hut) and Tourism: Reflections on Indigenous Tourism and Indigenous Entrepreneurship” for Inaugural State of the Pacific Conference. Hosted by State, Society and Governance in Melanesia Program (SSGM), Australian National University. June 25-26, 2013. Invited participant and all fares and accommodation paid for by the SSGM, ANU.

2013 Interview for the Rainbow Ethnic Program Series Island Insights Public Radio about the status of Pacific Islanders especially Samoans in Hawaii, May 2013

2013 Study Abroad Program University of South Dakota. Lecture on Migration, Diaspora and Globalization in the Pacific. East-West Center, Honolulu Feb 5, 2013

2012 Invited to participate in the Panel: Challenging Western Notions of Pacific Migration, organized by Dr Verena Keck 5 (Goethe University, Frankfurt) and Dr Dominik Schieder (Hitotsubashi University, Tokyo) at the European Society for Oceania (ESfO) Conference, Bergen, Norway, Dec 5-8, 2012.

2012 Invited to contribute a paper for the German Samoa Book Project by German Pacific Network. June 28, 2012

CONFERENCES PUBLISHED PROCEEDINGS AND PRESENTATIONS

2019 Women Matai (Chiefs): Negotiating Boundaries and Responsibilities. Paper presented at the Association of Social Anthropology in Oceania, ASAO Auckland University, New Zealand February 9-12

2019 Native American and Indigenous Studies, NAISA Conference in Waikato, New Zealand. Attended with my Hawaiian-Pacific Studies colleagues as part of gathering knowledge and learning about issues involved; indigenous place-based curriculum, conceptual approaches and performative approaches to learning. June 28-July 2.

2018 Samoa Matai Tama’ita’i, Sufiga o Tuā’oi ma Matāfaioi: Samoan Female Chiefs, Negotiating Boundaries and Responsibilities. Paper presented at theAssociation of Social Anthropology in Oceania, ASAO New Orleans, LO. Jan 31.

2018 Association of American Geographers, AAG April 10-14, 2018, New Orleans, LO Spaces of Erasure: Pacific Islanders Integration in Urban Honolulu.

2017 Paper presented at 2017 (Un) settled Sojourners in the City: The Permanence of Temporary Migrants. Association of American Geographers, AAG April 5-9, Boston MA

2017 Value of Women: Matai Chiefs and Responsibility. Association of Social Anthropology in Oceania ASAO conference, Feb 9-12, Kauai, Hawaii

2016 Chair a Session, Negotiating Interracial Geographies, Native American and Indigenous Studies Association, NAISA conference at University of Hawaii. May 18-21

2016 Changing Morphology of Graves and Burials in Samoa, Association of Social Anthropology in Oceania conference, ASAO San Diego, CA
2015 Changing Morphology of Graves and Burials in Samoa, Association of Social Anthropology in Oceania conference, ASAO Santa Fe, New Mexico.

2014 “Constructing Fale Tele or Maota (Guest House):
Constructing Va (Socio-spatial Relationships)”. Paper presented for Pacific Spaces and Sacred Buildings Session. Association of Social Anthropology for Oceania Conference, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. February 5-8, 2014

2012 “Tala o le Vavau (ancient stories/histories): Critical Pedagogies Grounded in Indigeneity”. Paper presented at the Pacific History Association, PHA Conference, held at Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand. December 6-8, 2012.

2012 Hawaii National Great Teachers Seminar (HNGTS) at Kilauea Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. In the seminar about 70 teachers gathered to share our teaching experiences and support one another in our quest for a better understanding of the nature of the great teacher. August 5-10, 2012. Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence, CTLE.

2012 Proceedings of Fourth Annual Meeting of Native American and Indigenous Studies Association, NAISA. “Pacific Epistemology of Place or Fanua: The Samoan Case” for Session Land and Landscapes. Mohegan Sun Convention Center, Uncasville, Connecticut. June 3-6, 2012

2011 Chair of Session: Indigenous Landscapes, for the Third Annual Meeting of Native American and Indigenous Studies Association, NAISA. Sacramento, CA. May 21-23, 2011

2011 Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers, AAG. “Lualualei (West Oahu) Community Fights to Save Farmland”. Seattle, Washington. April 12-16, 2011.

Research Grant, US Department of the Interior, awarded to University of Hawaii Pacific Business Center, June-Aug 2007. I was one of four Co-PI’s investigating the feasibility of establishing knowledge-based industries in American Samoa and Samoa. My specific role was to investigate issues arising from the intersection of fa’a-Samoa with the demands of the knowledge industries in seeking sustainable development for both Samoa: American Samoa and Independent Samoa.

Pacific Islands Emerging Researcher of the Year, November 2005 International Council for the Study of the Pacific Islands (ICSPI), UNESCO. Every two years, this award recognizes one graduate student/researcher for doctoral research that has originality with outcomes that contribute to Pacific Islands’ knowledge and coherence in its use of western and indigenous epistemologies/paradigms.

University of Hawaii Foundation, Department of Geography Enrichment Fund November 2005 to travel to University of Auckland to receive ICSPI award, “Pacific Islands Emerging Researcher of the Year”

Wien’s Award for Ph.D. student, May 2005. Department of Geography, University of Hawai`i. Each year this award recognizes one doctoral student for superior academic research and effort in teaching, departmental service, and community spirit.

Fulbright Fellow, May 1993. University of Hawai`i at Manoa, for MA in Pacific Islands Studies

East-West Center Internship, May 1990 Pacific Development Program and Pacific Islands Studies (research internship), University of Hawai`i at Manoa

Australian Development Assistance Bureau (ADAB scholarship award) May 1980-1983, through the government of Western Samoa, for undergraduate Bachelor’s degree at University of Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia.

Dissertation Research Awards

2002 Graduate Students Organization Grant University of Hawaii to present paper at ASAO at Auckland University, Feb

2001 University of Hawai`i, Globalization Research Center: for dissertation research Travel, May  

1999 American Association of University Women (AAUW) Pacific Fellowship: for dissertation research, 1999-2000, May

1999 Social Science Research Council (SSRC) New York, Minority Dissertation Fellowship, International Migration Program, at University of California, Irvine. In Residence Summer May-July 1999

1998 University of Hawai`i Arts and Sciences Council: for pre- dissertation fieldwork in Samoa, June-August

Population Studies Certificate, University of Hawaii Manoa 2004

  • American Association of Geographers (AAG)
  • Association of Social Anthropology in Oceania (ASAO)
  • Native American and Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA)
  • Pacific History Association (PHA)

Chair of Association of Social Anthropology of Oceania 2020-2022

Curriculum Committee

Gen Education Committee

HAP Committee

Faculty Senator