History 284: Hawaiian History
Spring 2012 (last updated on 4/26/12)
Think/Write Guidelines
KCC, Higgins


Think/Write Questions

1. If you agree with Dening that historians play an interpretive role to make history relevant to the present, then what is "good" history? Is "good" history that which is written with a clearly identifiable political agenda?

2. Do you think the history of Hawai‘i is more accurately written if it has a Native voice, either a Native Hawaiian historian or by reconstructing metaphors of a past culture as Kame‘eleihiwa does?

3. To answer this question you need to read an article posted on Laulima: "The Last Mass Migration of Workers to Hawai'i." After reading about Anastacio Luis' experience in transporting 6,000 Filipino labor recruits in 1946, what surprising and ununsual details did you learn? Although they were the last group to arrive, do you think their experience can provide insights into labor recruitment in general?

4. What do you think of USA Today's "Racial tensions are simmering in Hawaii's melting pot" article about race relations in Hawaii? Do you think it accurately depicts Hawaii's multiethnic society?

5. For those who are doing Service Learning. Why did you choose SL?  What do you hope to learn from this experience?

6. Do you think shows like Hawaii 5-0 accurately represent the islands? If so, how and what kind of impact does it have on people living in Hawaii and those outside of Hawaii?

Think/Write #1 is due on Laulima by 11:59 p.m. on Fri (1/27). Please read all posted Think/Writes before class on Mon (1/30).

7. How do you think the U.S. military's presence in Hawaii has impacted the history of these islands?

8. How much emphasis do you think should be placed on Hawaiian oral tradition in our attempts to understand the origins of the Hawaiians?

9. Do you think words like "exploitation" and "degradation" accurately describe the impact of prehistoric Hawaiians on their environment?

10. Kame‘eleihiwa argues that the women of ancient Hawai‘i were quite powerful and the ‘Aikapu does not prove that women were inferior to men. Do you agree with the explanation she gives? Why or why not?

11. Contrast Malo's and Kame‘eleihiwa's explanations of the relationship between ali‘i and maka‘ainana. Why do you think their descriptions are somewhat different?

12. For those who participated in the Manele garden service project on Friday (2/3). How did your experience in the garden complement what you're learning in this class? Did you learn any lessons that go beyond the study of history (i.e. work, campus community, the learning process)?

Think/Write #2 is due on Laulima by 11:59 p.m. on Mon (2/13). Please read all posted Think/Writes before class on Wed (2/15).

13. Do you think the story of ‘Umi helps us to truly understand ancient Hawai‘i, especially considering that he was the exception and not the rule?

14. Do you think Stannard's pre-contact population estimate has been used in the political debates of modern Hawai‘i? Why do you think the numbers are so important to Hawaiian activists today?

15. Why do you think Captain Cook is considered a hero to the Western world? Do you think he was a hero? Explain your answer.

16. Do you think Kamehameha was able to unite the Hawaiian islands because he used foreign weapons and advisors? Is this the only way to explain his success?

17. For those who participated in the loko i'a (fishpond) service project on Saturday (2/18 or 4/21). Mai maka'u i ka hana; maka'u i ka moloa. (Don't be afraid of work; be afraid of being lazy.) Ma ka hana ka ‘ike. (In working one learns.) How did your work at Waikalua Loko help you understand either or both of these 'olelo no'eau?

18. For those who are doing Service Learning. Describe your duties and responsibilities at your SL site. What new information are you learning and/or skills are you acquiring from this SL experience?

Think/Write #3 is due on Laulima by 11:59 p.m. on Fri (3/16). Please read all posted Think/Writes before class on Mon (3/19).

19. Do you think the Hawaiian people of the 1820s and 1830s were exploited by foreigners? What part did the Hawaiians play in the moral struggles of that time period?

20. To answer this question you need to read two articles posted on Laulima: "Observations of the First Japanese in Hawaii" and "...the Journal of Toketa." Do you think the descriptions of the Hawaiian way of life provided by a shipwrecked Japanese sailor and a Tahitian missionary are more accurate than those provided by Americans and Europeans who were passing through?

21. Do you see any value in using Kame'eleihiwa's metaphorical approach to understand Ka'ahumanu's conversion?

22. To answer this question you need to read two articles posted on Laulima: "...the Journal of Toketa" and "Hawaiian Missionaries in the Marquesas." How important was a shared Polynesian culture in the missionary efforts of Tahitians in Hawaii and Hawaiians in the Marquesas? Do you think these islanders were more effective than American and European missionaries?

23. Do you think Malo's prophecy has been fulfilled? Do you believe that it is inevitable for smaller countries to be "gobbled up" by larger countries?

Think/Write #4 is due on Laulima by 11:59 p.m. on Fri (4/13). Please read all posted Think/Writes before class on Mon (4/16).

24. Do you think the missionaries who recommended capitalism & private ownership of land truly did so because they believed it would benefit the Hawaiian people? Or do you think their advice reveals an ultimately self-serving agenda?

25. In contrast to the first three Kamehameha's, the last two rulers of the Kamehameha dynasty were well educated about Western culture and had traveled abroad. Do you think this background influenced the way they ruled?

26. Do you think Hawaii's economic reliance on the U.S. as a market for sugar made annexation inevitable?

27. Lili‘uokalani says that Kalakaua's reign was the "golden age of Hawaiian history." What do you think would lead her to that assessment, and do you agree with her?

28. To answer this question you need to read an article posted on Laulima: "Vignette of Early Hawaii-Japan Relations: Highlights of King Kalakaua's Sojourn in Japan..." Even though Kalakaua's entries in his personal travel diary remains silent on political discussions and reads more like a royal tourist's travelogue, what did you learn about the governments of Hawaii and Japan in 1881 after reading this article?

29. Regarding the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy, Lili'uokalani chose a bloodless path and trusted that the American government would correct the wrong. Do you think she made the right choice? Explain.

30. Should this class be called "Hawaiian History" or "History of Hawaii"? Is there a difference between these labels? Which one best describes this class and why?

31. Considering the information you’ve learned and the skills you’ve developed in this course, what do you think were the important lessons for you?

32. For those who are doing Service Learning. How has this SL experience impacted you as a person and as a student of history? If possible, share a specific SL experience that stands out in your mind, and explain why it made such an impression on you.

Think/Write #5 is due on Laulima by 11:59 p.m. on Wed (5/9). There will be no open forum discussion in class. Instead, if you provide feedback online to two of your classmates before 11:59 p.m. on Fri (5/11), you will earn 5 bonus points.