Rulers and Ruffians: Indigenous “Class Eugenics” in Hawaiʻi

Feb 10, 2023, 10:00 am11:30 am
216 Aaron Burr Hall



Event Description

Reshaping how we think about Indigeneity, this talk charts how echelons of the Indigenous elite rearticulate the content of racialized eugenics (eugenics of reproduction) into a new form of “class eugenics” (eugenics of production). The talk outlines a political economic history of the emergence of the modern Native Hawaiian movement, specifically its transition from national liberation, through multi-ethnic class-based movements, and into a modern culturalist movement of Indigenism. The talk then follows the thread of how a premier Native Hawaiian organization’s racialized eugenics history became a powerful commitment to supporting Indigenous revival, then rearticulating into one of class anxiety and capitalist progress. Those within and around the organization work in the moment, with the tools available, and with the best intentions. The story is one of how Hawaiian-ness, and Indigeneity itself, is contested in the practices of its own reproduction.