Kanu o ka Aina Learning Ohana

First Kanu Graduate to earn a PH.D



(Waimea, Hawaiʻi.  February 29, 2016)  Emalani Mailekaluhea Kanekapolei Case, class of 2001 is the first KANU graduate to earn a PhD. Emalani graduated from Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand. She was awarded the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Pacific Studies at her graduation ceremony on Dec.10, 2015 and honored at a Pasifika Graduation Celebration on Dec. 11, 2015.


"Aia ke ola i Kahiki, -Life is in Kahiki" Emalani’s research and dissertation combines archival research and oral history interviews of Kahiki, the idea of an ancestral homeland. She studies the life of this concept through time: as a component of Pacific genealogies; as a medium for nationalistic sentiments and sometimes even justifying colonialism in the nineteenth century; and as part of contemporary Hawaiian articulations of identity following the twentieth century Hawaiian Renaissance. Emalani’s research encourages a continued interaction with Kahiki, a source of life. "  Her supervisor’s were Dr. Teresia Teaiwa and Associate Professor Peter Adds.