Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)


American Studies


M. Lynn Weiss

Committee Member

Charles McGovern

Committee Member

Francesca Sawaya

Committee Member

Danielle Moretti-Langholtz


The following essays are two explorations of the role of culture in colonial Hawai‘i and in the American metropole in racializing and dominating Native Hawaiians in terms of a larger history of race-based oppression and romanticization in the US. The first essay draws from Werner Sollors’ Ethnic Modernism, in which he argues that the aesthetic movement of modernism, which has been historically white-washed by scholars, had strong ties to the influx of immigrants and the growing popularity of jazz music and other forms of African American cultural expression in the early twentieth century. The second essay, written for “Politics of Representation” with Professors Danielle Moretti-Langholtz and Jennifer Khan, reflects on the utility of a Museum Studies framework for analyzing U.S. American representations of Pacific Islanders in public displays and in mass culture. I argue that existing analyses of American World’s Fairs and mass print culture typically overlook their pedagogical functions, and that the museum studies framework might offer a more nuanced view of the cultural work done by these technologies of representation to reinforce or even transform how Americans thought about racialized peoples.



© The Author