Keynote Speaker & Address 2023

Keynote Speaker & Address

We are thrilled to announce this year’s keynote speaker:

Dr. Candace Fujikane

(University of Hawai’i)




Candace Fujikane is Professor of English at the University of Hawaiʻi. She is a Japanese settler ally who stands for the protection of lands and waters in Hawaiʻi while supporting Hawaiian political independence. In 2020, she was awarded the Engaged Scholar Award by the Association for Asian American Studies. She has recently published Mapping Abundance for a Planetary Future: Kanaka Maoli and Critical Settler Cartographies in Hawaiʻi (Duke UP, 2021). She is working on her new book, Elemental Cartographies for a Changing Earth.


Elemental Cartographies: Academic Activism for Renewed Abundance


As we bear witness to the wastelanding of the earth by late liberal settler capital, Indigenous peoples are recovering ancestral knowledges encoded in chants, stories, and place names to activate themselves and the elements so that they can transform the effects of global climate change into possibilities for renewed abundance. In Mapping Abundance for a Planetary Future: Kanaka Maoli and Critical Settler Cartographies in Hawaiʻi, I contend that global climate change events are not apocalyptic but rather are bringing about the demise of capitalist economies of scarcity, making way for Indigenous economies of abundance. Extending these arguments, I will present a preview of my new book, Elemental Cartographies for a Changing Earth. Elemental cartographies are embodied forms of knowledge that trace where elements move and how those movements activate dormant elements and people. Kumu hula Pualani Kanakaʻole Kanahele and her daughter Kekuhi Kealiikanakaoleohaililani have worked to teach land stewards in Hawaiʻi about the elemental energies of winds, rains, cloud formations, and ocean currents so that we can establish relationships and work with them. As Kanaka Maoli and their allies continue to stand for the mountain and sea waters of Mauna a Wākea, Kapūkakī, and Waimānalo against the construction of industrial complexes, military jet fuel tanks, and sea walls, we as scholars can support their work by confronting scalar fallacies, settler colonial academic training, and other institutional obstacles to following Indigenous brilliance. In this keynote, I argue for the importance of academic and community reciprocity as the basis for networks of activism and research in the generation of renewed abundance.