Ikaika Ramones lecture: "Rulers and Ruffians: Indigenous “Class Eugenics” in Hawaiʻi"
New York University
January 27, 2023 Friday 1/27 2:00-3:30PM E51-095
Reshaping how we think about Indigeneity, this talk charts how echelons of the Indigenous elite rearticulate the content of racialized eugenics (eugenics of reproduction) into a new form of “class eugenics” (eugenics of production). The talk outlines a political economic history of the emergence of the modern Native Hawaiian movement, specifically its transition from national liberation, through multi-ethnic class-based movements, and into a modern culturalist movement of Indigenism. We then follow the thread of how a premier Native Hawaiian organization’s racialized eugenics history became a powerful commitment to supporting Indigenous revival, then rearticulating into one of class anxiety and capitalist progress. Those within and around the organization work in the moment, with the tools available, and with the best intentions. The story is one of how Hawaiian-ness, and Indigeneity itself, is contested in the practices of its own reproduction.