Drawing upon the concept of “Talk Story” and place-based pedagogy, this instructional design focuses on a 16-week English 272: Introduction to Culture and Literature course (ENG 272) at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Themed as “Claiming Culture and Place Through Local Literatures of Hawaiʻi,” ENG 272 explores the ways local literatures establish local identities and complicate issues regarding whose voices are privileged within local communities, challenging metaphors of Hawaiʻi as a “melting pot” or “mixed plate.” ENG 272’s designation as a Writing Intensive course also emphasizes the development of students’ abilities to read, analyze, and interpret literary text through written form.
The focus of this course draws upon place-based writing theory and practices to facilitate students’ connections to Hawaiʻi. Scholars in the field of composition have advocated for place-based writing to be integrated into classrooms because writing that’s tied to place and community encourages students to seriously consider the effects of their interactions, their intended audiences, and underlying purposes of their content (Esposito, 2012). Through the course’s Canvas website, students will engage in “Talk Story” activities through Flipgrid that analyze works from both Native Hawaiian and local scholars and writers while responding to the ideas and questions posed by their peers. By engaging with place and literature, students can explore their relationships and responsibilities to the communities in Hawaiʻi, which are lessons students from Hawaiʻi, the continent, and other countries can benefit from.