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SSRI > Past Projects > Past Projects for Culture, Language and Social Problems

Past Projects for Culture, Language and Social Problems

Hawai‘i Council of Language Policy and Planning (-).
The key organizers for the Council are: Assoc. Prof. Kathryn Davis, ESL Dept. and Bill Hoshijo, Esq., Na Loio No Na Kanaka (The Lawyers for the People of Hawai`i). Members are language rights advocates, representatives of the state and county agencies, teachers and experts in applied linguistics and ESL, Hawaiian language immersion advocates, and community organizations (e.g. The Interagency Council, Catholic Charities). University members include Assoc. Prof. Kathryn Davis; Prof. Mike Forman, Linguistics Dept.; Vice-Chancellor Carol Eastman; Asst. Prof. Noeau Warner, Indo Pacific and Hawaiian Languages Dept.; and the following graduate students: Rebeca Jasso-Aguilar, ESL Dept.; Celia Chang, ESL Dept.; Marilyn Plumlee, Linguistics Dept.; Laiana Wong, Linguistics Dept.


An Oral History of Palama Settlement (1997-98).
Funding by the Palama Settlement Centennial Committee. This project focuses on the history of Hawai`i's only settlement house which since 1896 has provided a largely indigent population with health care, recreational programs, and social services. Thirty longtime employees and clients are being interviewed to commemorate and document Palama Settlement's role in Hawai`i's social history.

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Big Island Family Adaptation to Occupational Loss (1997).
Funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, via the Center on the Family, CTAHR, this project is a multi-generational oral history study of 10 families who have been affected by the recent closings of Hamakua Sugar Company and Ka`u Agribusiness Company. The interviews focus on families and communities, and the dramatic social, cultural, and economic changes taking place on the Big Island due to occupational loss.


Businesses of `A`ala: Oral Histories of Japanese Entrepreneurs in Honolulu, ca. 1900-1960, (1997).
Funded by the Hawai`i Imin Shiryo Hozon Kai and the Hawai`i Committee for the Humanities, this project documents the history of `A`ala Rengo, an early 20th-century "shopping center" of Japanese-owned small businesses in the `A`ala section of Downtown Honolulu. The interviews with business proprietors and family members focus on lifestyles, community, ethnicity and entrepreneurship.


Oral Histories of Past Presidents of the University of Hawai`i, (1997).
In-depth life history interviews with the three surviving former presidents of the University of Hawai`i, Harlan Cleveland (1969-74), Fujio Matsuda (1974-84) and Albert J. Simone (1984-94) are currently being undertaken. Endorsed by current UH President Kenneth Mortimer and funded by the Stadium Endowment Fund, the interviews focus on the individuals' early lives, education, and professional activities prior to being named UH president. The interviews then concentrate on the individuals' tenures as president before ending with their current professional activities. The bound transcript volumes will become a permanent part of the University of Hawai`i Archives.

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Ke A`a Makalei: An Implementation Project for Hawaiian Language Regenesis, (1996-1998).
Funding by the Administration for Native Americans The co-coordinators of this grant are Kathryn Davis and Noeau Warner. Participants include teachers/curriculum developers who are Hawaiian and fluent in the language from the ESL Department, Indo-Pacific and Hawaiian Languages Department, College of Education, and Linguistics. The project focuses on promoting adult language learning and intergenerational use of Hawaiian within local communities.


Hawai`i Political History Documentation Project, (1996).
Funded by the Hawai`i Public Broadcasting Authority via the Hawai`i State Legislature, this project is a collection of interviews with 45 longtime political figures of Hawai`i. Interviewees include former Governor William F. Quinn, former Lt. Governor and Supreme Court Chief Justice William S. Richardson, former Lt. Governor Thomas P. Gill, former U.S. Senator Hiram L. Fong, former state senators Vincent Yano, John Hulten, John Ushijima, Sakae Takahashi, Donald Ching, Toshio Ansai, Richard Henderson, W. Buddy Soares, and S. George Fukuoka, former state representatives Tadao Beppu, Joseph Garcia, Stu Milligan, Toshio Serizawa, J. Ward Russell, Katsugo Miho, and Jack Suwa, former county executives Hannibal Tavares, Helene Hale, Richard Caldito, and Herman Lemke, former Burns aides Mike Tokunaga, Robert Oshiro, and Masaru "Pundy" Yokouchi, former labor leaders Yasuki Arakaki and Thomas Yagi, and political analyst Daniel W. Tuttle, Jr. Also interviewed were longtime Democratic party leaders Chuck Mau, Katsuro Miho and Ernest Kai.

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Ke A`a Makalei: A Planning Project for Hawaiian Language Regenesis, (1995-1996).
Funded by the Administration for Native American. The co-principal investigators of this grant are Assoc. Prof. Kathryn Davis, ESL Dept. and Asst. Prof. Noeau Warner, Indo-Pacific and Hawaiian Languages, College of LLL. The purpose of the grant was to establish the status (number of speakers, fluency, etc.) of the Hawaiian language in Hawai`i.


Foreign Language Partnership Project, (1994-1996).
Funded by the National Foreign Language Resource Center. The project pairs high school native speakers of Tagalog, Ilokano, and Samoan with university students who are studying these languages in the College of LLL. The primary purpose of this project is to reverse statewide attitudes towards heritage languages as a "problem" and promote the notion of "languages as resources." Specifically, the goals of this project are to: 1) acknowledge the first language abilities of high school immigrant students and, thus raise self-esteem among these students and promote positive attitudes towards bilingualism in Hawai`i and 2) provide university students studying heritage languages with the opportunity to engage in authentic conversation and, thus, increase their second language proficiency in these languages. Given the overwhelmingly positive outcomes of this project during the past two years, the Project Director, Kathryn Davis, is currently working towards institutionalizing high school/university foreign language partnerships in Hawai`i.

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An Era of Change: Oral Histories of Civilians in World War II Hawai‘i, (1994).
This project documents the experiences of Hawai`i's civilian population during and after World War II. Focused on individual responses, the interviews with thirty-three longtime residents provide us with primary source documentation on the war as a catalyst for social change. Funded by the National Park Service and the Hawai`i Committee for the Humanities.


`Ualapu`e, Moloka`i: Oral Histories from the East End, (1991).
`Ualapu`e Fishhpond is one of many ancient Hawaiian ponds on the East End of Moloka`i. Today it is one of only four or five ponds which, when restored, has the capability of commercially producing large quantities of food to help elevate the island's depressed economy. In addition to its potential to stimulate economic development for Moloka`i and its people, the eighteen-acre pond is valued for its cultural and historical significance. In 1966, it was declared a National Historic Site. Funded by Hawai`i State Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism, this project consists of interviews with thirteen individuals who possess knowledge of the area's past or who are actively involved in the restoration of the pond.


Public Education in Hawai`i: Oral Histories, (1991).
Funded by the Hawai`i State Department of Education, this project documents, through research and interviews, the historical development of public education within the context of socio-economic and political change in the islands.