Book Pavilion: ReadAbility at Pac Rim

Book Pavilion
Monday, October 9, 2017 to Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Start Time: 

8:00 AM

End Time: 

9:00 PM
The Modern Honolulu

Special Events: Book Pavilion

The first-ever literary showcase at Pac Rim brings together writers, artists and readers to celebrate storytelling, literacy and the creative spirit. Book Pavilion is a curated engagement of illuminating conversations at the intersections of disability, diversity and wordcraft. In an intimate salon-style setting, story lovers will explore recent writing from award-winning, bestselling and emerging voices in fiction and nonfiction alike. Our lineup features author presentations; comic book panels; readings; oral storytelling and storytelling through visual art and film; script and memoir writing workshops; and much more. Stories inspire and empower people of all abilities to share their visions and to use narrative to spark enlightened change. Book Pavilion is a parley to explore storytelling ideas, but it's also a classroom to exchange pragmatic instruction. Through supportive "How To" workshops, conference-goers will learn the essentials of the expressive arts and enhance their chances of publication.

We hope you have fun!

Laura Blum and Charmaine Crockett, Book Pavilion curators

$20.00 suggested donation per day for non-conference attendees (register on-site)



10:30 am – 11:30 am, The Modern Honolulu


Documentary Scriptwriting: Not an Oxymoron

Bradley Jackson (Library)

Crafting your story is an essential part of making a film, even a non-fiction one. Score bankable tips at this insight-jammed workshop with an award-winning filmmaker who will dissect specific solutions to narrative challenges and offer strategies for writing and planning a doc. Questions welcome.

Photo: Bradley Jackson

Bradley Jackson is a screenwriter and novelist living in Los Angeles. His first feature film, Intramural (MGM/Orion), stars Kate McKinnon, Jake Lacy, Jay Pharaoh and Beck Bennett and was a New York Times Critics’ Pick. His first book, a middle-grade novel (co-authored with Michael Fry) called The Naughty List was published by HarperCollins in 2015. The sequel, The Nice List, will be released in 2018. Bradley also co-created the Sci-Fi comedy series Crunch Time for digital behemoth Rooster Teeth as well as co-wrote and co-produced the documentary Dealt, which won the 2017 Audience Award at South by Southwest and was bought by IFC for a fall theatrical release following its sneak preview at Pac Rim.


The Healing Power of Hip Hop

Raphael Travis Jr. (Studio 1)


Using the latest research, real-world examples and a new theory of healthy development, Dr. Travis’s book The Healing Power of Hip Hop explains Hip Hop culture's ongoing role in helping Black youths to live long, healthy and productive lives. In this session the author will connect research about Hip Hop's influences with examples of its practice and applied value, and identify education, physical and mental health and afterschool settings as key to promoting health and well-being.

Raphael Travis’s research, practice and consultancy work emphasizes positive youth development over the life-course, resilience and civic engagement. He is the author of The Healing Power of Hip Hop and co-author of Break Free: Be True. Be You.


11:50 am – 12:50 pm, The Modern Honolulu


What’s Your Story? A Masterclass on Memoir

Jessica Fechtor (Library)

Photo: Stir Book cover

A memoir is never about “what happened.” No matter how interesting or unique a set of plot points, it is the story within them that makes a memoir sing. In this hands-on masterclass, bestselling author Jessica Fechtor will address the crucial distinction between “plot” and “story”--the infinite narrative possibilities that can emerge from a single series of events–and share techniques for determining which one is yours to tell. She will also explore the question of “truth” in memoir, how to deal with competing truths, whether they be historical, subjective, or emotional, and how to get your truth down on the page. Finally, she will discuss active personal discovery as a key to writing successful memoir. 


Jessica Fechtor is an author, blogger and PhD candidate in Jewish Literature at Harvard University, where she has received numerous awards for her research and teaching. Her bestselling memoir Stir: My Broken Brain and the Meals That Brought Me Home won the 2015 Living Now Book Award and drew critical acclaim including The Wall Street Journal, and The Forward, among other outlets. Fechtor writes the popular food blog Sweet Amandine, and her writing has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and Tablet. 


Finally, a Sport for Us: A Reading from the First Book on Power Soccer—the First Competitive Team Sport for Motorized Wheelchair Users

Michael Jeffress (Studio 1)

Photo: Communication, Sport and Disability Book cover

Michael Jeffress will be discussing and reading from his book Communication, Sport and Disability: The Case of Power Soccer, published in 2017 by Routledge. This in-depth ethnography includes 34 Americans with physical disabilities who compete in power soccer, the first competitive team sport for motorized wheelchair users.

Michael Jeffress is the author of Communication, Sport and Disability: The Case of Power Soccer and editor of Pedgagogy, Disability and Communication: Applying Disability Studies in the Classroom (both published under Routledge's Interdisciplinary Disability Studies Series). He focuses primarily on issues related to equality and social justice and conducts workshops on communication for schools, businesses and other organizations.  


Frames of Mind: Images of Disability in Visual Storytelling

Laura Blum (Ballroom A)


Murderous villain, inspiring hero, pitiable victim, vulnerable cypher -- stereotypes of people with cognitive and intellectual impairment have long plagued our flickering screens. Yet in recent years progress has been made in the popular media and in the culture at large. In our exploration we will consider current ads and movies that impart a sense of personal agency, emotional nuance and dimensionality to characters with limited mental functioning. How can casting choices, collaborative storytelling approaches and critical contextualizations help create accurate images of these lives? From cinematography to lighting to costume design, in what ways does the visual strategy credibly capture both limitation and empowerment? Glimpse what goes into making realistic representations of people with cognitive/intellectual disability that can change public attitudes and foster meaningful inclusion.


Photo Laura Blum

Laura Blum is a curator, journalist and producer based in Manhattan. Laura has curated numerous film series, including a critically acclaimed Czech film retrospective at the Film Society of Lincoln Center. She covers movies and art for the Grumbacher arts site and writes a film blog at in addition to developing and producing films. Laura co-edited Esther Perel’s global bestseller Mating in Captivity and forthcoming book The State of Affairs. 



1:10 pm - 2:10 pm, The Modern Honolulu


Letting the Visuals Lead: Art Books as Narrative Tools

Tom di Maria (Library)

With four decades under its belt, The Creative Growth Center in Oakland, California is the world's largest art center for people with disabilities. First seen as people with disabilities and next as outsider artists, its talented community now enjoys flourishing careers as acclaimed contemporary artists, designers and fashionistas. Join the Center's director in an illustrated talk tracing the co-evolution of the disability rights movement and the expanded interest in self-taught art, as covered in his book The Creative Growth Book: From the Outside to the Inside: Artists with Disabilities Today.


Tom di Maria has served as Director of Creative Growth Art Center since 2000. He has developed partnerships with museums, galleries and international design companies to help bring Creative Growth's artists with disabilities fully into the contemporary art world. He speaks around the world about the Center’s major artists and their relationship to both Outsider Art and contemporary culture. Prior to his current position, he served as Assistant Director of the Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive at UC Berkeley. He received his MFA from the Maryland Institute, College of Art, in Baltimore, and a BFA from the Rochester Institute of Technology.


Supporting Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities and Mental Illness

Sherri Melrose (Studio 1)

Photo: Sherri Melrose

In this session, Sherri Melrose will discuss her peer reviewed e-book, a free online resource for those who care about and for individuals with both intellectual disabilities and mental illness. Current evidence informed practice knowledge is supplemented with audio enable text boxes emphasizing “Key Points for Caregivers.

Sherri Melrose is associate professor in the Centre for Nursing and Health Studies at Athabasca University.  A winner of the Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing Award for Excellence in Nursing Education, Dr. Melrose is the co-author of e-books including Open Educational Resources and Creative Clinical Teaching in the Health Professions. 


2:30 pm – 3:30 pm, The Modern Honolulu

Should Artificial Intelligence Replace Humans in Health Care?

David Luxton (Library)

David Luxton, PhD., technologist, psychologist and associate professor at the University of Washington, is a nationally recognized expert in behavioral health technologies and telemedicine. His new edited book Artificial Intelligence in Behavioral and Mental Health Care covers the exciting ways that artificial intelligence is transforming -- and will further transform -- how healthcare is provided. Topics covered include virtual care providers, predictive analytics and big data, affective sensing, intelligent wearables, smart rooms, robotics and much more. 


Photo: David Luxtong

David Luxtong serves as Chief Science Officer at In 2015, he formed Luxton Labs LLC. Dr. Luxton is the editor of Artificial Intelligence in Behavioral and Mental Healthcare (Elsevier/Academic Press, 2016) and the co-author of A Practicioner’s Guide to Telemental Health (American Psychological Association Books, 2016).



The Impossibly Thin Legs of My Racing Camels: Loving the Life and Writing the Book

Kathy Phillips (Studio 1)


Photo: The Impossibly Thin Legs of My Racing Camels Book cover

Kathy Phillips will talk about how "odd" thin legs are "fine with the camels," just as her "odd bones" (a congenital slight deformity) are fine with her. She will discuss some "boons of bones" and some "odd frames" (religious or medical) that people sometimes try to apply. And! Dr. Phillips will talk about the 10 chapters with the tag "How to ______ Your Camel" (how to sing to, pack, talk to, track your camel, etc.), which are a guidebook how to write. These "how to" chapters are real tips this writer is glad to pass along, especially in an amusing format. 




With a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Brown University, Kathy Phillips has published five books and 23 articles including Manipulating Masculinity: War and Gender in Modern British and American Literature (2006 and ppb 2010); This Isn't a Picture I'm Holding: Kuan Yin (2004); Virginia Woolf against Empire (1994); Dying Gods in Twentieth-Century Literature (1990); "Between the Third Sex and the Third Reich: Brecht's Early Plays"; "Jane Harrison and Modernism"; and "Exorcising Faustus from Africa: Wole Soyinka's The Road"; and an article in Asian Women (Summer 2010) about WWII. As a retired emerita professor, Dr. Phillips has been writing non-stop and has merrily published five more books herself, via Create Space on 


3:50 pm – 5:10 pm, The Modern Honolulu


Writing Diverse Characters for TV and the Web

Bradley Jackson (Library)

Got an idea for a TV or web series? To advance it, you'll need a script. Explore the ABC's of television and webisode writing with an award-winning writer/producer whose credits include Crunch Time and who co-wrote Dealt, the opening night selection of the Pac Rim Mini Diversity Film Festival. Bradley will relay creative tales from the writers room: crafting strong protagonists, incorporating humor and using science fiction tropes to tell socially aware stories.

(See Documentary Screenwriting entry for bio.)


Visual Art of Shared Story: Creating Pathways toward a Positive Future

Meleanna Aluli Meyer (Studio 1)

Visual storytelling is a language used in this workshop, where use of an existing mural—Kuʻu ʻAina Aloha, Beloved Hawaiʻi—intends on inspiring participants in their work to visualize the future, 2025. Equal parts visual and oral, our workshop will explore the importance of iconography, setting contextual and historical knowledge as these relate to time and space, and each attendeeʻs orientation to the place they call home.


Photo: Meleanna Aluli Meyer

Meleanna Aluli Meyer comes from a well-respected, civic-minded family in the Hawaiian community. An East West Center grantee, APAWLI and Salzberg Fellow, Meleanna has been able to lend her many talents to a wide range of arts and culture collaborations. She is a practicing artist, educator and filmmaker, and has taught in a diverse range of educational settings both public and private, at the University level, in the charter schools, as an artist in residence and contractually as a consultant, as an arts/culture workshop leader and curriculum specialist. Community and social justice issues define much of the work she does.


3:50 pm – 4:20 pm, The Modern Honolulu


Be Your Best Self: How Your Symptoms Can Be Both a Mask and a Set of Clues

Amy Coleman (Studio 2)

How do we move towards a more caring medical model, where both patient and provider are empowered while restoring what it means to be a practitioner? It requires us to dive deeply within ourselves to view healthcare from a wider perspective. The journey is to replace reactiveness with proactivity, and to become fully integrated in the relationships around us. Our own physiology is designed for this type of interconnectedness. The chaos that is the current healthcare model has spawned new models which stand in contrast to the assembly line, Wall Street-run standards. These new wellness spaces foster environments that allow our humanity to shine. Join Dr. Coleman in exploring how your symptoms can be both a mask and a set of clues, based on her book Discovering Your Own Doctor Within. 


Amy Coleman, MD, is chief executive officer and founder of Wellsmart and author of the book Discovering Your Own Doctor Within. As a family medicine physician with secondary training in Japanese acupuncture, Dr. Coleman started as a flight surgeon in the U.S. Air Force (USAF). She also established new, creative models of patient care design for the Air Force still employed today. In her work as the youngest and first female commander of the Special Operations Clinic in Ramstein, Germany, she guided global medical missions and was the appointed physician for officers of the highest command positions. Throughout her career, she was chosen as primary physician for USAF F-16 Fighter Squadrons, USAF Special Forces units and U.S. Embassies, as well serving as medical coordinator and physician for NASA Space Shuttle support missions.

3:50 pm – 5:10 pm, The Modern Honolulu



9:30 am – 10:30 am, The Modern Honolulu


Into the Magic Shop: A Conversation with James Doty

James Doty (Library)

Photo: Into the Magic Shop Book cover

Growing up in the high desert of California, Jim Doty was poor, with an alcoholic father and a mother chronically depressed and paralyzed by a stroke. Today he is the director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education at Stanford University, of which the Dalai Lama is a founding benefactor. But back then his life was at a dead end until at 12 he wandered into a magic shop looking for a plastic thumb. Instead he met Ruth, a woman who taught him a exercises to ease his own suffering and manifest his greatest desires. Her final mandate was that he keep his heart open and teach these techniques to others. She gave him his first glimpse of the unique relationship between the brain and the heart. Dr. Doty will expand on these ideas and experiences, as he did in his book Into the Magic Shop: A Neurosurgeon's Quest to Discover the Mysteries of the Brain and the Secrets of the Heart.  



James Doty, M.D., FACS, FICS is a clinical professor of neurosurgery at Stanford University and founder and director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education, a part of the Stanford Institute of Neuro-Innovation and Translational Neurosciences. He is the New York Times bestselling author of Into the Magic Shop: A Neurosurgeon's Quest to Discover the Mysteries of the Brain and the Secrets of the Heart, published by Penguin Random House in 2016 and translated in 19 languages.


Dementia Blog: Writing about Illness

Susan Schultz (Studio 1)

Photo: Dementia Blog

From 2006-2011, Susan kept a blog about her  mother's Alzheimer's. Two books were published -  Dementia Blog ( 2008), which chronicles her move into a "home," as well as intersections between dementia and American politics during the Iraq War, and "She's Welcome to Her Disease": Dementia Blog, Vol. 2, which tells the story of her last years, using many poetic and prose forms. During  her session, she will read and talk through sections of both books and hopes to generate questions and conversation among the audience.




Photo: Susan Schultz

Susan Schultz, PhD is author of many books of poetry and poetic prose, including most recently Dementia Blog (Singing Horse, 2008); Memory Cards 2010-2011 Series (Singing Horse, 2011); "She's Welcome to Her Disease": Dementia Blog, Vol. 2 (Singing Horse, 2014); Memory Cards: Thomas Traherne Series (Talisman, 2016) and the forthcoming Memory Cards: Simone Weil Series (Equipage, UK, 2017). She also writes literary criticism and publishes and edits Tinfish Press, which she founded in 1995. Susan lives in Ahuimanu and roots for the St. Louis Cardinals.



10:50 am - 11:50 am, The Modern Honolulu


A Reading and Conversation with Kathleen Norris

Kathleen Norris (Library)

In this session, Kathleen Norris will be reading from a work-in-progress, Rebecca Sue, which is about her younger sister. Rebecca Sue suffered a loss of oxygen during birth which left her with a borderline cognitive disability. In the 1950's her parents were encouraged to institutionalize Rebecca Sue, but they refused and, instead, she was raised with Kathleen and other sibling. Norrisʻs book is about her experience of growing up with her, and also about her last years, when despite struggling through two bouts of cancer she found her calling as an artist. The author will also discuss the writing life with moderator, Charmaine Crockett.


Kathleen Norris is the award-winning poet, writer and author of The New York Times bestsellers The Cloister WalkAcedia & Me: A Marriage, Monks, and a Writer's LifeDakota: A Spiritual GeographyAmazing Grace: A Vocabulary of Faith; and The Virgin of Bennington. Kathleen has published seven books of poetry. Her first book of poems was entitled Falling Off and was the 1971 winner of the Big Table Younger Poets Award. Soon after, she settled down in her grandparents' home in Lemmon, South Dakota, where she lived with her husband, the poet David Dwyer, for over 25 years. The move was the inspiration for the first of her nonfiction books, the award-winning bestseller Dakota: A Spiritual Geography. It was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and was selected as one of the best books of the year by Library Journal. With Dakota, she creates in the reader an almost hypnotic awareness of being present in her day-to-day life.


Representation of Disability in Children's Books

Tara Weikum (Studio 1)

Thoughtful and compelling representation of disabilities in children’s books has grown and improved over the years. Books like Ann M. Mart’s Rain Reign, Cammie McGovern’s Say What You Will and R. J. Palacio’s Wonder have portrayed a variety of characters with disabilities and their experiences that have resonated with readers. Learn about the different ways authors have successfully captured a voice, a character and a story, resulting in a book that stands out in this market.


Photo: Tara Weikum

Tara Weikum is vice president, editorial director at HarperCollins Children’s Books. Her list is a diverse mixture of middle grade and teen fiction featuring New York Times bestsellers, Newbery Honor Winners and National Book Award winners. Her authors include Joyce Carol Oates, Louise Erdrich, Katherine Applegate, Bennett Madison, James Frey, Pittacus Lore, Tahereh Mafi, Cammie McGovern, Janel Kolby, Michael Thomas Ford, Donna Freitas, Thanhha Lai and Antony John. Before joining HarperCollins, she worked at Hyperion Books for Children and the American Library Association.



How to Write a Compelling Blog

Amanda Stevens (Studio 2)

What's your passion, and how can you harness it in a successful, sustainable blog? The blogosphere is yours for the taking if you can express your heart in an engaging and effective way. Glean tips on what makes a magnetic post, with a top "Frolic Hawaii" blogger and philanthropist whose credits include weekly columnist for Hawaii's largest newspaper. Gaining a voice through storytelling is important now more than ever.


Amanda Stevens has a long-standing reputation for successfully bridging fashion and philanthropy. Her extensive professional experience includes procuring millions of dollars in grants for local non-profits, creating successful volunteer programs, working backstage during New York Fashion Week, producing high-profile fashion shows in Hawaii, guest lecturing at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, to being a weekly columnist for Hawaii's largest newspaper. She is currently the executive director at Susan G Komen Hawaii Breast Cancer Foundation, where she is on the front line to help underserved and underinsured women to get the help they need.


1:10 pm – 2:10 pm, The Modern Honolulu


Children's Book Publishing: An Editor’s Perspective

Tara Weikum (Library)

Learn about the children’s book market from a HarperCollins editor who has worked with kids' lit for 20 years. Find out how to research the best home for your book with both literary agents and publishers, and snare expert hacks about how to position your book among the competition. The second half of the workshop will be Q&A.

(See Representation of Disability in Children's Books for bio)


A Primer on the Pathway to Scholarly Writing: Helping Nascent Writers to Unlearn Conditional Habits

Dennis McDougall (Studio 1)


Photo: Dennis McDougall

In this session, Dennis will identify eight common error patterns of nascent writers when they attempt to navigate the pathway to scholarly writing.  He will also illustrate each error pattern via examples and counter-examples (corrections). Learn how to identify such patterns, why those patterns might occur and persist, and why each pattern is problematic. In addition, if we have time, I will provide practical advice and resources aimed at changing conditioned habits of nascent and, in some cases, experienced scholarly writers.

Dennis McDougall PhD is a professor in the College of Education at the University of Hawai’i. Additionally, he is an international educational consultant and the author of numerous scholarly articles.


Who Gets to Play? A Conversation with Kat Holmes

Kat Holmes & Tom Conway (moderator) (Ballroom C)

Inclusion is a rising topic in business, yet the definition of inclusion, and how to manifest it, varies greatly from one community to the next. In contrast, exclusion is much more recognizable. People know when they're excluded, and inevitably everyone feels excluded at some point in their lives. What happens when exclusion is caused by the design of a building, technology or everyday object? Explore how human biases manifest in the solutions we build, and who’s excluded as a result. Holmes will share key points of intervention that help teams recognize and remove barriers to participation--and how these practices are shaping her new venture, Kata, and upcoming book.


Kat Holmes is a leading expert in inclusive design with hands-on experience in applying it to mass-scale consumer technology. She is the founder of Kata and, complementary ventures that form a platform of people and tools for advancing inclusion in product development and digital experiences. She also advises companies on inclusive design methods that she pioneered as director of Inclusive Design at Microsoft, where she wasis recognized for her thought leadership in reexamining disability and diversity as a source of innovation. In 2017 Holmes was named one of Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business for 2017. She led the development of Microsoft’s award-winning Inclusive Design toolkit. This toolkit was widely recognized as a radical evolution of design thinking including honors from the Interaction Design Association (IxDA) and Fast Company’s World Changing Ideas.


2:30 pm – 3:30 pm, The Modern Honolulu


Standup Comedy and Disability: Art, Social Activism, or Pure Nonsense (or maybe a bit of all three!)

Nina G and Matthew Mock (Library)


Photo: Once 0Upon an Accommodation

After she makes you laugh from her performance, Nina G will make you think more critically about the role of standup comedy in decreasing stigma for people often socially marginalized. As a standup comedian who stutters and has learning disabilities, she will sit down with Matthew Mock to discuss the role standup comedy has played in her life, representation of people with disabilities and why the heck this engaging performance and dialogue is at the Book Pavilion. Come to enjoy, be fully engaged, and be inspired! 




Nina G is the San Francisco Bay Area's favorite female stuttering standup comedian (granted she is the only one). Also a disability activist, storyteller, children's book author and educator, she brings her humor to help people confront and understand social justice issues such as disability, diversity and equity. When Nina isn’t performing at comedy clubs like the San Francisco Punchline or the Laugh Factory, she is playing colleges and presenting as a keynoter to children with disabilities and training professionals. She is part of the comedy troupe The Comedians with Disabilities Act.    Her book Once Upon an Accommodation: A Book about Learning Disabilities helps children and adults advocate for their rights as a person with a disability, and her one-person show Going Beyond Inspirational is a comical exploration about growing up with learning and speech disabilities.


Rewriting the World: Strengthening Diversity through Fiction

Victoria Nalani Kneubuhl (Studio 1)

The 21st century has opened the mystery genre to include a a diversity of detectives and multiple points of reference. As writers we are creating worlds that reflect our understanding of societies and human beings within those societies. As the many parts of the world move steadily toward a multicultural reality, how can we as writers foreshadow a world where mutual respect and understanding strengthens life?


Photo: Victoria Nalani Kneubuhl

Victoria Nalani Kneubuhl is a well-known Honolulu playwright and author. She holds a master’s degree in Drama and Theatre from the University of Hawai`i. Her plays have been performed in Hawai‘i and the continental United States and have toured to Britain, Asia and the Pacific. An anthology of her work Hawai`i Nei: Island Plays is available from the University of Hawai`i Press. Ms. Kneubuhl has written three mystery novels: Murder Casts a Shadow; Murder Leaves its Mark; and Murder Strikes a Pose. She was the writer and co-producer for the television series Biography Hawaii. In 1994, she was the recipient of the prestigious Hawai`i Award for Literature and in 2006 received the Eliot Cades Award for Literature.



Telling Tales: Finding and Writing Your Stories

Steven  Brown (Studio 3)

“When we tell our stories ourselves, we are letting the world know we are here, we are to be valued and expect--no, demand!--to take our rightful, equitable place in society just the way we are,” as Dr. Brown wrote in his 2015 blog “Why We Tell Stories.” In his memoir Surprised to be Standing: A Spiritual Journey, he shares his path of discovery from being a little boy in intense physical pain, to a young adult who discovers disability rights and culture, to an older adult who finds himself in the midst of spiritual exploration and searching for ways to combine all these aspects of one life. This session will help  you to find and write about your own stories. We will do this together through exercises, writing suggestions and practicing--and having fun along the way.


Historian Steven Brown (PhD, University of Oklahoma) is co-founder of the Institute on Disability Culture and a retired professor at the University of Hawaii at Manoa's Center on Disability Studies, where he taught Disability Studies and is currently affiliate faculty. He served as a 2015 Diversity and Inclusion Fellow for the Association of University Centers on Excellence in Disabilities Diversity and Inclusion Toolkit Initiative, and continues to consult with AUCD. Dr. Brown’s books include: Movie Stars and Sensuous Scars: Essays on the Journey from Disability Shame to Disability Pride (2003); Surprised to be Standing: A Spiritual Journey (2011); and Ed Roberts: Wheelchair Genius (2015), a middle grade biography of the late 20th-century disability rights pioneer. He is also a co-editor of the anthology Rethinking Disability: World Perspectives in Culture and Society (2016).


2:30 pm - 4:30 pm, The Modern Honolulu



Writing for Disability Studies: A Workshop with Journal Editors

Allyson Day, Jay Dolmage & Kim Nielsen (Studio 2)

Journal editors Jay Dolmage (Canadian Journal of Disability Studies), Kim Nielsen and Ally Day (Disablity Studies Quarterly) will share insights about writing for peer review publications drawing from their experience with Disability Studies. Following presenter introductions, the workshop will provide an overview of how journals work with authors from initial submission, through peer review and onto publication. Next the editors will present, in multiple formats, key strategies for writing for peer review. In the second half of the session, participants will move into break-out groups to workshop their own material, guided by the editors. Participants are encouraged to bring an abstract and outline of a current project to workshop.


Photo: Ally Day

Ally Day  has published articles in The Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies, The Canadian Journal of Disability Studies, Disability Studies Quarterly and a/b Journal of Autobiography; she also has a chapter in Disabling Domesticity (Palgrave January, 2017) and forthcoming in The Untied States: Untangling Identity in the New American Studies. She is currently finishing a book manuscript, Stigmatizing Narrative: Medicine, Memoir, Citizenship and Self in the Age of HIV. Since Fall 2015, she has served as co-editor of the peer-reviewed journal Disability Studies Quarterly.



Jay Dolmage is an associate professor at the University of Waterloo, where he earned the Faculty Outstanding Performance Award in 2013. He is the author of numerous publications, including Disability Rhetoric (Syracuse University Press, 2014), and two books in progress: Academic Ableism, which examines the roots and branches of eugenics in North American higher education; and Disabled Upon Arrival, which examines the rhetorical co-construction of categories of race and disability through turn-of-the-century immigration promotion and restriction. Dr. Dolmage is also the founding editor of the Canadian Journal of Disability Studies. 


Photo: Kim Nielsen

Kim Nielsen, PhD, is a scholar of disability, gender and history in the Disability Studies Program at the University of Toledo. In addition to numerous articles, her books include A Disability History of the United States (Beacon, 2012); Beyond the Miracle Worker: The Remarkable Life of Anne Sullivan Macy and Her Extraordinary Friendship with Helen Keller (Beacon, 2009); Helen Keller: Selected Writings (NYUP, 2005); and The Radical Lives of Helen Keller (NYUP, 2004). She is co-editing The Oxford Handbook of Disability History (Oxford University Press, 2018), and completing The Doctress and the Horsewhip: Insanity, Patriarchy, and Violence in Nineteenth-Century America.  



3:50 pm - 4:50 pm, The Modern Honolulu


Moving History into Fiction

Shawna Yang Ryan (Library)


In this session, Shawna Yang Ryan will discuss the process of transforming difficult histories into fiction--how to do it and why it matters. Her award-winning historical novel Green Island interwove themes of love, betrayal and family against the backdrop of a changing Taiwan in the 20th century. There will be time for audience questions.





Photo: Shawna Yang Ryan

Shawna Yang Ryan is a former Fulbright scholar and the author of Water Ghosts (Penguin Press, 2009) and Green Island (Knopf, 2016), which was distinguished as Penguin Random House International’s first OneWorldOneBook title, an Amazon Best Book of February 2016 Pick and a March 2016 Indie Next Great Read. Shawna teaches in the Creative Writing Program at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa. Her short fiction has appeared in ZYZZYVA, The Asian American Literary Review, Kartika Review and The Berkeley Fiction Review. She is the 2015 recipient of the Elliot Cades Emerging Writer award. 


3:50 pm - 5:20 pm, The Modern Honolulu


How to Write about Art

Ngahiraka Mason (Studio 1)

If a picture says a thousand words, why write about art? In the age of Facebook and Instagram, does anyone even read anymore? Yet precisely today’s digital media environment has expanded discussion about visual creativity worldwide. More than ever the ability to write about works of art with cogency, clarity and discernment is vital if we are to make sense of past and emerging culture--and survive the deluge.


Ngahiraka Mason was the curator of the recent Honolulu Biennial 2017. She is the former indigenous curator at Auckland Art Gallery (NZ) and a writer, educator, historian and trained fine artist. Her career at New Zealand’s most prestigious art museum encompassed developing and acquiring art collections and commissioning site-specific contemporary art. Ngahiraka collaborated with the Noumea Biennial (2000) and the 2nd Auckland Triennial (2004). She has been an advisor to the Asian Society Museum on New Zealand and Pacific art, and contributed writings for the Andy Warhol Museum, Contemporary Commonwealth, National Gallery Victoria, Australia, the 17th Sydney Biennial, Australia and Sakahan, the National Gallery of Canada and for her New Zealand and international exhibitions. Ngahiraka is a community arts advocate, mentor to artists, speaker and Shibori practitioner.


2:30 pm - 4:30 pm, The Modern Honolulu



Writing for Disability Studies: A Workshop with Journal Editors

Allyson Day, Jay Dolmage, Kim Nielsen (Studio 2)

(See Writing for Disability Studies: A Workshop with Journal Editors entry for bios.)


3:50 – 5:10 pm, Ballroom A, The Modern Honolulu


Let’s Get Graphic

Roy Chang (moderator), Stacey Hayashi, Christopher Caravalho, Napua Ahina (Ballroom A)

Photo: Mana Double Feature Comic book cover

The pantheon of superheroes abounds in outsiders with different abilities. Whether literally or symbolically, themes of diversity and disability are intrinsic to comic book culture. How are characters of varied backgrounds and capacities represented in this popular genre? What goes into making their stories come to life? How can graphic arts and comics enhance your personal or professional communications? Join top talents of the Hawaiian Comic Book Alliance on a creative adventure and crack the secrets of sequential art.




Roy Chang is a two-time Pa'i Award-winning editorial cartoonist for MidWeek, Hawai'i’s most widely read non-daily newspaper. Roy has illustrated Hawaiian books including Cacy & Kiara and the Curse of the Ki`i. He shares a 2005 Po`okela Award for Excellence in Children's Literature, and his self-published comic books include Highball and Pepe. The newest edition of his acclaimed Aloha Pepe comic book series introduces a special team of superhero dogs with disabilities.


Photo: Christopher Caravalho


Christopher Caravalho is the founder of Mana Comics and creator of Aumākua Guardians of Hawaii. Mana Comics features heroes from Hawaii and celebrates the cultural and ethnic diversity of local life in Hawaii. A native of Oahu, Christopher is a full-time police officer for the Honolulu Police Department.


 Stacey Hayashi is the founder of the successful PainaGirl family of websites, which includes Hawaiian Wedding Shop. A former software engineer before starting her own companies, Stacey helped pioneer the development of internet-based businesses focused on the manufacturing and distribution of Hawaiian products. Her interest in Japanese American and Hawaii culture led to the development of a multimedia project celebrating the heroism and cultural significance of the 100th Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team and members of the Military Intelligence Service. Her historically accurate 2012 manga Journey of Heroes is internationally acclaimed, and two films that she executive produced screened at the Hawaii International Film Festival.

Photo: Napua Ahina

Napua Ahina has parlayed her 15-year career in graphic design and web development into digital painting. Currently she is coloring Pineapple Man's graphic novel Old School Lock Up and producing comic book material for a mainland publisher in addition to performing collaborative work with the Hawaiian Comic Book Alliance and providing flat colors for an award-winning comic series.