Plenary Address Information

Opening Plenary Speaker:

Noenoe K. Silva (University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa)

I Mau Puke Wehewehe Hou:  A Call for New Reference Works for Hawaiian

Thursday, March 2, 2023

In this presentation, I argue that we need new dictionaries and place names reference works in ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi—Hawaiian.  I first honor the mōʻī—the supreme author—of reference works in ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi:  Mary Kawena Pukui.  I then call for both expansion of coverage and for new, decolonial lexicographic methods in the creation of new dictionaries. I similarly appeal for new works on place names recovered from our vast archive of literature and the hundreds of older maps sitting in other archives. A main aim of this talk is to encourage students of ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi to become our new lexicographers, and to call on professors in both linguistics and ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi to join me in encouraging them.  Finally, I urge the linguistics department and the administration of UH Mānoa to devote new faculty hires and more resources to the study of ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi and other Oceanic languages.

Photo by Sancia Shiba Nash

Noenoe K. Silva is Kanaka Hawaiʻi from Kailua, Oʻahu.  She is professor of Hawaiian and Indigenous Politics in the Department of Political Science at UHM, and Cooperating Faculty in the Kawaihuelani Center for Hawaiian Language. She is the author of Aloha Betrayed:  Native Hawaiian Resistance to American Colonialism and The Power of the Steel-Tipped Pen:  Reconstructing Native Hawaiian Intellectual History, both published by Duke University Press, and numerous journal articles.  Her research interests include the reclamation of ʻike Hawaiʻi through the furtherance of understanding of ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi, mele Hawaiʻi, and moʻolelo Hawaiʻi, and the reconstruction of histories of Hawaiʻi through the archives written in ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi by kūpuna Hawaiʻi

Closing Plenary Speakers:

Michal Temkin Martinez & Selda Delsooz (Boise State University)

Language Work in Displaced Communities: Collaboration toward a more just life in the diaspora

Sunday, March 5, 2023

According to the UN High Commission on Refugees, as of May 2022 over 100 million people have been displaced worldwide due to persecution, conflict, violence or human rights violations.

Although there are similarities between resettlement and other forms of displacement, resettlement creates a unique situation due to its government-supported infrastructure, however flawed, for providing support services for newly arrived refugees.

Once resettled, these new community members are expected to integrate into their new cities and, in the US, to become economically self-sufficient within a short adjustment period. To do so, they must gain sufficient language proficiency in the majority language for employment, and many often encourage the younger generation to do the same in order to advance in their schooling. This creates a tension between different language needs – the necessity to master the new language in order to be gainfully employed, and the yearning to maintain connection to their homeland and their culture through their home language. 

The arrival of newly resettled refugees in our communities provides an opportunity for linguists to utilize their understanding of the intricate ways that language connects different aspects of the human experience. This makes linguists invaluable on local teams grappling with resettlement-related issues. In our talk, we describe how centering justice in language work with resettled refugees requires supporting community members in ways that are often outside the traditional scope of our discipline, but that linguists and their students have the skills and tools needed for this work. We will also highlight how collaborations with service providers and organized community leadership leads to our ability to ensure the minimization of further harm, and to help with other aspects of the resettlement process.

Michal Temkin Martinez

Michal Temkin Martinez is professor and chair of linguistics at Boise State University, where she has taught since 2009. Since her arrival at Boise State, she has been collaborating with community members who were resettled in the US as refugees. In 2010, she founded the Boise Language Project as a collaboration with community members whose goal is to elevate the languages spoken in Boise and bring attention to the language needs of the community while training linguistics undergraduate students. At the University-level, Michal is a member of a community/campus partnership that seeks to aid community members who arrive as refugees and the service providers who assist them in the resettlement process. Having earned her Ph.D. in linguistics at the University of Southern California, her training is in phonological perception and production, and as co-Associate Editor of the Teaching Linguistics section of the journal Language, her most research includes capacity building for scholarly teaching and the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) in linguistics.

Selda Delsooz

Selda Delsooz is an undergraduate student at Boise State University. Born and raised in Kabul, Afghanistan, Selda is a native speaker of the Kaboli dialect of Dari (prs; Western Iranian). Selda studied Business Administration at a university in Kabul before she and her parents were resettled in the US in August of 2021. She was able to enroll in classes at Boise State in the spring of 2022, and also worked as the language consultant for the capstone course in linguistic field methods during that semester. Selda will be sharing reflections on her own experience as consultant and will be sharing interviews with past collaborators and consultants for the Boise Language Project.