2019 National Humanities Conference

November 07, 2019 at 12:00pm - November 10, 2019

In 2019, the National Humanities Alliance and the Federation of State Humanities Councils will sponsor the National Humanities Conference in Honolulu, Hawai’i. This conference is hosted by the Hawai’i Council for the Humanities in partnership with Humanities Guåhan, Northern Marianas Humanities Council, and the Amerika Samoa Humanities Council.


Welina: Welcome and Opening Ceremonies from the Pacific Islands Humanities Councils 
Thursday Evening, November 7

We will welcome everyone to the conference with a Native Hawaiian chant and introduction to the geography and history of ‘āina of Waikīkī, our gathering place followed by remarks from the executive directors of each of the host humanities councils: Hawai‘i Council for the Humanities; Amerika Samoa Humanities Council; Humanities Guåhan; and the Northern Marianas Humanities Council. Each speaker will briefly explain their unique community and history touching upon ways that the Pacific Islands are connected. These presentations will include music and a short film that highlights the Indigenous Pacific Islander humanities. The session will conclude with an ‘awa/kava ceremony that honors a commitment to respectful and deep conversation in the days to come. 

Speakers:  Aiko Yamashiro, executive director, Hawai‘i Council for the Humanities; Tauaisafune Niualama Taifane, executive director, Amerika Samoa Humanities Council; Kimberlee Kihleng, executive director, Humanities Guåhan; Leo Pangelinan, executive director, Northern Marianas Humanities Council

Address from NEH Chairman Jon Parrish Peede
Friday Morning, November 8

Join NEH Chairman Jon Peede for the NEH annual address at the National Humanities Conference.

Capps Lecture with Jonathan and Jamaica Osorio 
Friday Evening, November 8

The Capps Lecture honors individuals for their contributions to the humanities, particularly those who pursue integrity in public life, believe in the power of stories, and are committed to the inclusion of all voices, particularly those at the margins of society. This year’s Capps lecturers are Jonathan and Jamaica Osorio.The Capps Lecture is open to the public.

Speakers: Dr. Jonathan Kay Kamakawiwo‘ole Osorio is the dean of the Hawai‘inuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa; Jamaica Heolimeleikalani Osorio is a Kanaka Maoli activist, poet, musician, educator, and professor of political science at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa

The Navigator's Water: Traditional Seafaring in the Pacific 
Saturday Evening, November 9

We will close the conference by exploring navigation with three traditional navigators who are working to revitalize the art of Pacific wayfinding within communities on O‘ahu, Saipan, and Satawal.  As students of Grand Master Navigator Pius Mau Piailug, they each work to embody his spirit of giving and perpetuate his legacy of sharing these traditions.  While rooted in and guided by their kuleana (responsibility and privilege) as members of an intellectual genealogy that extends millennia into the past, these leaders also remain steadfast in their efforts to create positive futures for Pacific people.

Speakers: Bonnie Kahape‘a-Tanner, project director of Kānehūnāmoku Voyaging Academy; Cecilio Raiukiulipiy, proprietor of Marianas Water Works; Milton “Junior” Coleman, Jr., educator and canoe builder Leo Pangelinan, executive director, Northern Marianas Humanities Council 

Event Details


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Hotel Information

The Hilton Hawaiian Village

2005 Kalia Road
Honolulu, HI 96815