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2019 National Humanities Conference
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"Roots & Routes: Navigation, Migration, and Exchange in the 21st Century"

11/7/2019 to 11/10/2019
When: Nov 7-10, 2019
Where: The Hilton Hawaiian Village
Honolulu, Hawaii 
United States

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2019 National Humanities Conference
November 07, 2019 at 12pm - November 10, 2019

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In 2019, the National Humanities Alliance and the Federation of State Humanities Councils will sponsor the National Humanities Conference in Honolulu, Hawai’i. This conference is hosted by the Hawai’i Council for the Humanities in partnership with Humanities Guåhan, Northern Marianas Humanities Council, and the Amerika Samoa Humanities Council.

In 2019, the conference will take place outside the continental US for the first time offering the chance to gather among a constellation of communities, each of which employs unique cultural knowledge and traditions, to map their historical and future voyages.

We can think of no better place to explore the concept of roots and routes: who we are and its relation to where we are than in the Pacific Islands. Sailing in large double-hulled canoes from the Marquesas Islands in the south, Native Hawaiians settled the islands over a thousand years ago. Today, Honolulu reflects both the continued movement and connectedness of the Oceanic peoples as well as the arrival of colonial settler communities, including Japanese, Filipino, Chinese, and Korean Americans. Taking the Pacific Islands’ communities and cultures as our inspiration, we invite reflections on the movement of people across oceans, continents, and borders, and how the humanities – the stories we tell and the histories we make – can bind us rather than divide us through shared experiences and common pasts. Issues of identity, migration, and belonging resonate just as strongly across the continental U.S. as they do in the Pacific Islands.

Among the questions to explore are the following:

Is who we are defined by where we are?
How is a sense of place created in new homes away from home?
How do we, as public humanists and scholars, explore the core elements that bind different communities of people in the places we call “home”?
How do we integrate newcomers into our own communities, and what can we learn from each other?
What tensions are created by differing notions of place?
How do we best explore notions of “home” and “belonging” in Pacific islands that are simultaneously isolated and connected, local in their focus yet global in their relationships, small in mass but large in strategic importance, and part of but also neglected by “big” history?

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