As its literature attests, Hawai‘i is simultaneously the uniquely multicultural fiftieth state of the Union, a colonial outpost, and the disputed sovereign nation of native Hawaiians. As might be expected, the literature of Hawai‘i is a highly contested terrain ranging from works by native Hawaiian writers, “local” writers, and works by “foreigners.” This course allows students to read and study the literary and oral traditions of Hawai‘i, including works by writers of native Hawaiian, Chinese, Puerto Rican, Japanese, Filipino, and Korean descent, through competing paradigms which place Hawaii’s literatures and cultures within the historical, social, and political contexts of western imperial expansion, globalization, Asian American literature, and the native Hawaiian movement toward autonomy and self-determination. The literatures of Hawai‘i have been and can be read through these frameworks as well as how they also problematize and contest these categories. We will examine dominant representations of the islands by Melville, London and Twain as well as contestatory representations by “local” writers such as Balaz, Holt, Trask, Murayama, Pak, Yamanaka, Zamora Linmark and Cobb Keller. The course will also contextualize these authors within the broader critical paradigms of mainland Asian American literature as well as Pacific Island literatures.