Associate Professor of American Culture and English Language and Literature
Susan Y. Najita was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Dr. Najita is currently working on a historical study of the establishment of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and the contemporaneous literary and folkloric texts that emerged in order to understand the ways that colonization and empire structure the emergence of discourses of conservation and the public.
In her book Decolonizing Cultures in the Pacific, Najita proposes that the traumatic history of contact and colonization has become a crucial means by which indigenous peoples of Oceania are reclaiming their cultures, languages, ways of knowing, and political independence. In particular, she examines how contemporary writers from Hawai‘i, Samoa, and Aotearoa/New Zealand remember, re-tell, and deploy this violent history in their work.