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“The Ocean in Us”: Navigating the Blue Humanities and Diasporic Chamoru Poetry

Department of English, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA
Humanities 2020, 9(3), 66; https://doi.org/10.3390/h9030066
Received: 13 December 2019 / Revised: 9 February 2020 / Accepted: 16 July 2020 / Published: 20 July 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue World Literature and the Blue Humanities)
This essay will explore the complex relationship between Pacific Islander Literature and the “Blue Humanities,” navigation traditions and canoe aesthetics, and Chamoru migration and diaspora. First, I will chart the history, theory, and praxis of Pacific voyaging traditions; the colonial history of restricting indigenous mobilities; and the decolonial acts of seafaring revitalization in the Pacific (with a specific focus on Guam). Then, I will examine the representation of seafaring and the ocean-going vessel (the canoe) as powerful symbols of Pacific migration and diasporic cultural identity in the context of what Elizabeth DeLoughrey termed, “narrative maritime legacies” (2007). Lastly, I will conduct a close-reading of the avant-garde poetry collection, A Bell Made of Stones (2013), by Chamoru writer Lehua Taitano. As I will show, Taitano writes about the ocean and navigation in order to address the history and traumas of Chamoru migration and diaspora. In terms of poetic form, I will argue that Taitano’s experimentation with typography and visual poetry embodies Chamoru outrigger design aesthetics and navigational techniques. In the end, I will show how a “Blue Humanities” approach to reading Pacific Islander literature highlights how the “New Oceania” is a profound space of Pacific migration and diasporic identity. View Full-Text
Keywords: Blue Humanities; Pacific Islander literature Blue Humanities; Pacific Islander literature
MDPI and ACS Style

Perez, C.S. “The Ocean in Us”: Navigating the Blue Humanities and Diasporic Chamoru Poetry. Humanities 2020, 9, 66. https://doi.org/10.3390/h9030066

AMA Style

Perez CS. “The Ocean in Us”: Navigating the Blue Humanities and Diasporic Chamoru Poetry. Humanities. 2020; 9(3):66. https://doi.org/10.3390/h9030066

Chicago/Turabian Style

Perez, Craig S. 2020. "“The Ocean in Us”: Navigating the Blue Humanities and Diasporic Chamoru Poetry" Humanities 9, no. 3: 66. https://doi.org/10.3390/h9030066

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