There is a lot that has been hidden from mainstream narratives about the history of astronomy, including 20th century history. Where has the colonial legacy of astronomy taken us?
From Europe to Haiti to now Hawai’i. Hawai’i is the flash point for this conversation now, even though the story goes beyond Hawai’i. If we are going to understand the context of what is happening in Hawai’i with the Thirty Meter Telescope, we must understand that Hawai’i is not the first or only place where astronomers used and benefited from colonialism. And in connection, we have to understand Hawaiian history. Thus, my reading list also includes important materials about Hawai’i’s history.
tl;dr: science has roots outside of the Eurasian peninsula known as Europe, it likely has its limitations as one of multiple ontologies of the world, it has been used in really grotesque ways, and we must understand all of these threads to truly contextualize the discourse in Hawai’i around science, Hawaiian epistemologies and who gets to determine what constitutes “truth” and “fact” when it comes to Mauna a Wakea.
Excerpts from list:
- Science, Colonialism and Indigenous Peoples: The Cultural Politics of Law and Knowledge by Laurelyn Whitt
- Multicultural settler colonialism and indigenous struggle in Hawai’i: The politics of astronomy on Mauna a Wakea a dissertation by Joseph Salazar (available on ProQuest)
- Is Science Multicultural? Postcolonialisms, Feminisms, and Epistemologies by Sandra Harding
- Aloha Betrayed: Native Hawaiian Resistance to American Colonialism by Noenoe K. Silva
- A Nation Rising: Hawaiian Movements for Life, Land and Sovereignty, Noelani Goodyear-Ka’opua, Ikaika Hussey, and Erin Kahunawaika’ala Wright, editors
- voices of fire: reweaving the literary lei of pele and hi’iaka by ku’ualohoa ho’omanawanui
Source: Chanda Hsu Prescod-Weinstein for Medium.com