Craig S. Perez F'20

Craig S. Perez
Associate Professor
English
University of Hawaii at Manoa

Mellon/ACLS Scholars & Society 2020
Associate Professor
English
University of Hawaii at Manoa
Climate Change, Environmental Poetry, and the Public Humanities in Hawaiʻi
Pacific Writers Connection

Climate change is one of the most urgent challenges in the Pacific today. Rising sea levels, unprecedented storms, record temperatures, coral bleaching, and ocean acidization have become existential threats to Pacific ecologies, peoples, and cultures. This project engages centuries of indigenous artistic practice in order to demonstrate how Pacific poetry articulates indigenous ecological beliefs, critiques the legacy and history of ecological imperialism, advocates for environmental and climate justice, and imagines healing and sustainable futures. In collaboration with the Hawaiʻi based non-profit Pacific Writers Connections (PWC), this project also is facilitating a series of monthly creative writing workshops, discussion groups, and literary readings related to climate change; developing new educational resources and curriculum, including an anthology of Pacific environmental writing; and establishing an internship at PWC for undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Hawaiʻi, Mānoa who are interested in the public humanities and non-profit management. Ultimately, this project is creating an opportunity for communities in Hawaiʻi to creatively process and express their fears, anxieties, hopes, and dreams about the future of our islands.