Hawai’i ’18

Hawaii Image Mountain

Course Name: ‘Ohana in the U.S.A.: Colonialism and Cultural Identity Development in Hawai’i
Professor: DrAyesha Shaikh & Dr. Becky Overmyer-Velazquez
Credits: 4
Lib Ed.:  Culture 6
GPS [Global Poet Scholarship] Eligible: No (not international travel)
Cost/Fees: $1500 (estimated)

Travel dates: 6/7/18 – 6/18/18

All majors are welcome to apply! Early applications are highly encouraged!

[su_button url=”http://goabroad.whittier.domains/apply” style=”flat” background=”#b12def” size=”4″ center=”yes”]Apply Now![/su_button]


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Our social and political worlds have been shaped by conquest and domination, which have significant implications for our individual psychological development as well as our collective cultural identities. This course uses Hawai’i as a case study to explore the concept of historical trauma, which is the trauma experienced over generations by entire groups of people subjected to social, political and cultural domination. ‘Ohana denotes the Hawaiian identity, which is based on reciprocal rights and obligations within a larger community or family. What happens to ‘ohana and the individuals that make up that collective within a colonized society such as Hawai’i in the USA? In addition to learning about the sociology of colonization, the course will examine psychological theories of cultural identity development. The course will highlight the perspectives of Native Hawaiians themselves through a variety of cultural immersion experiences on the island of Oahu. Students will visit the Polynesian Cultural Center, the Bishop Museum, and the Iolani Palace, among other cultural sites, and will have the opportunity to learn from and volunteer with a local non-profit organization working with Native Hawaiians. Students will also apply theories of cultural identity development to themselves to enhance their own self-understanding.


King Kamehameha Image

“King Kamehameha Day Lei Draping Ceremony Hawaii” Anthony Quintano CC 2.0 License

Hawai’i is a very good example of a colonized society within the United States. While Hawai’i is now a state within the US, it retains much of the cultural distinctiveness that comes from its historical origins as a Hawaiian kingdom. This location allows for students to  immersively learn about how cultural identity is shaped within a colonized society without the challenges involved in international travel. Moreover, using the Hawai’i case in particular for our exploration of the legacies of colonialism on racial and cultural identity development will help students better understand these issues more personally and poignantly. While we could teach students about culture at a distance, an immersive learning experience will enable them to appreciate cultural identity development in a more in-depth and complex way.

A picture of Waikiki on the island of oahu


[su_box title=”Sample of Activities”]


  • Visit to the Polynesian Cultural Center
  • Participation in a Luau
  • Bishop Museum
  • Tour of Iolani Palace
  • North Shore
  • Living in Waikiki
  • Other cultural sites
  • Volunteer with local non-profit organization
  • 2 free days in Hawaii to travel, relax, and reflect on identities and experiences


[su_spoiler title=”Course requirements” style=”fancy”]
This course requires you to complete certain activities and understand issues related to the coursework listed below. You should understand that you will:
*Work with a vulnerable population
*Spend Two half-days of light manual labor outdoors as part of a service learning project
*Consider the nature of the course material and make sure that you feel personally equipped to manage your own response to it. Please discuss any questions you have about this with the course instructors or your own personal counsel before responding to this question.
*Enroll in a spring 2018 one-credit course – enrollment required (INTD 290, Fridays from 12:00 to 12:50)
*Be able to walk for up to 20 minutes at a time to access public transportation and sites
*Share a hotel suite with at least 2 other students (to keep costs down)


[su_spoiler title=”Costs and Fees” style=”fancy”]

The Faculty-Led Program fees include the following for the dates of the program: June 7-18, 2018.  It is important to note that fees and costs are always subject to change due to the nature of travel (new travel regulations, etc.) as well as changes to the itinerary.

–  Accommodations (triple occupancy) in suites at the Imperial Hawaii Resort in Waikiki.

An image of your hotel
You will live just a few steps from Waikiki beach in the Imperial Hawaii

–  Course-related site visits including related transportation costs.
–  HTH health and natural/political disaster evacuation insurance or program vendor insurance if it is more comprehensive.
–  4 lunches and 2 dinners included
–  Service-learning and volunteer activity costs.

*Note: Prices are subject to change.

The Faculty-Led Tuition Waiver for Full-Time Whittier Students:

–  4 Semester Credits.
–  Whittier Students only pay course fees–not tuition.  May term tuition is waived. Non-Whittier students should inquire with our office about our tuition.

Costs Not Included:

–  Meals not indicated on the itinerary (Note: hotel suites include a full kitchen)
–  Airfare and transport other than indicated above
–  Expenses of a personal nature, including activities and transportation during free time
–  Single supplement fee, if  a participant wishes to have a single room for hotel/hostel accommodations and if available.


[su_spoiler title=”What courses do I enroll in?” style=”fancy”]For this course you will need to register for a 1-credit spring semester course INTD 290, Fridays from 12:00 to 12:50).  For the actual trip-related course, you will be enrolled in the appropriate section for May 2018. You will not need to sign up for this course during registration because you are automatically enrolled. [/su_spoiler]

[su_spoiler title=”Applying” style=”fancy”]Applying is easy! Just click here or on the “Apply” link at the top of the page.[/su_spoiler]