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Articles in Forum on Public Policy: A Journal of the Oxford Round Table

“Birth, Marriage, Honor & Poverty: Ramifications of Traditional Hindu Culture & Custom on Modern Indian Women.”

Forum on Public Policy, Summer 2007

This paper focuses on two extreme practices of violence against women that occur most commonly in northern India: son preference and dowry-related deaths. Both practices occur in the private, domestic realm and are based on customary indigenous practices allegedly built upon Hindu religious teaching. Son preference and dowry- related deaths occur at all caste, class, and economic levels and have been impossible to eradicate, despite prohibitive legislation.

Moreover, the choice of female feticide to support family planning on the basis of son preference and the alleged participation of the husband’s female relatives in the dowry-related death of his bride represent crimes against females that cannot be carried out without female cooperation. This raises the question of the extent to which women exercise agency in committing female feticide and attacking young brides versus the argument that such alleged cooperation is a function of patriarchal oppression.

Article can be accessed here.

“Looking Through Shattered Glass: The Career Trajectories of Carly Fiorina and Indra Nooyi.”

Forum on Public Policy, Vol. 2010, No. 4/5 (December 2010).

In 2005, Fortune Magazine published “How Corporate America is Betraying Women.” The article‘s focus was that although sex discrimination in the United States became illegal in 1965, women continued to experience significant salary and promotion differentials in corporate America. A more common phrase for this inequity is “glass-ceiling,” defined as a generally insurmountable barrier to women seeking the chief executive‘s office. Some women, however, pierced the glass. Carly Fiorina became CEO of Hewlett-Packard 1999–2005. In 2006, Indra Nooyi became Chief Executive at PepsiCo. This paper outlines research on women‘s management style and access to executive positions, traces the public career trajectories of Carly Fiorina and Indra Nooyi, and discusses whether their individual successes negate the “glass-ceiling” hypothesis, in which case, the issue may be less about access and more about women‘s lifestyle choices.

Article can be accessed here.

“Common Denominators in Successful Female Statecraft: The Political Legacies of Queen Elizabeth I, Indira Gandhi, and Margaret Thatcher.”

Forum on Public Policy, Vol 2012, no 1

Standard literature on female leadership styles posits that successful women deny their inherent feminine characteristics in favor of masculine attributes. Sara Louise Muir (2011) counters this view, asserting that successful female leaders are androgynous “cyborgs” who transcend gender to combine male intellectual attributes with an intense feminine appearance. Case studies of Queen Elizabeth I, P.M. Indira Gandhi, and P.M. Margaret Thatcher apply Muhr’s theory to demonstrate its validity.

Article can be accessed here.

Articles Published Elsewhere

“Effect of World War I on the German Community in Hawaii.”

Hawaiian Journal of History 14 (1980) 109-140

In his introduction to KamaainaA Century in Hawaii, William A. Simonds states that the founders of American Factors were “European,” but immediately assures the reader that “today the business is 100% American.” The founders of American Factors were, in fact, German, a point which he later acknowledged. The choice of the word “European,” however, is interesting, because American Factors has downplayed the role of its parent organization, H. Hackfeld and Company, which American Factors took over during World War I. Indeed, since that war there has been little interest in the contribution of German immigrants to the history of Hawai‘i, Dr. Bernhard L. Hormann’s Master’s Thesis, The Germans in Hawaii, being the only real exception.

This paper does not pretend to concern itself with the total German experience in Hawai‘i, but will confine its inquiry to an exploration of World War I’s significance in the life of the German community in Hawai‘i. In order to do this, I shall briefly describe the German businessmen who established themselves in Honolulu, then the plantation community they sponsored on Kaua‘i. The discussion of World War I’s impact, however, will center on the Honolulu community with little emphasis on Kaua‘i. This focus is a reflection of the relative importance of the two communities, and the availability of information.

Article can be accessed here.

“Mission & Motivation: The Theology of the Early American Mission in Hawaii.”

Hawaiian Journal of History 19 (1985) 62-70

On March 30, 1820 the Pioneer Company of missionaries to the Sandwich Islands arrived at Kawaihae on the Big Island of Hawai’i. The company included two missionaries, twelve assistant missionaries, five children, and three Hawaiian helpers. The assistant missionaries included a doctor, a farmer, a printer, two teachers, and seven wives. It was a small group, but one filled with a purpose. Their task was to bring the unenlightened Hawaiians into God’s Kingdom through preaching the Gospel and teaching the rudiments of civilization as defined by New England social mores.

Article can be accessed here.

“When Unity is Torn Asunder: The Distressing Case of Thomas & Lucia Holman.”

Missionaries pose problems from a historical, social, and even religious perspective. They are the ground troops in a multifaceted war for souls. They carry the banner of a particular type of European or American culture, a conviction that their interpretation of God and the millennium is the only correct one, and a fanatical opposition to other points of view, be they religious, economic, military, or political. At first glance historians and anthropologists have found them to be cardboard figures with facades that reflect the bias of the viewer. Missionaries are imperialists of varying hues; they are the destroyers of indigenous culture; they are the best of a bad lot during the early contact years; they are stiff-necked, corrupt, dedicated; adventurers in sheep’s clothing. One thing they are not is representative of human foibles in the nineteenth century.

On second glance we often are able to construct a theory to justify our respective views. I suggest we take yet a third glance to determine who the missionaries were as human beings, their goals and misgivings, their fears and their faith. Such a look will not alter the result of their activities; it will not justify the disruption of indigenous cultures, but it may provide the historian, the anthropologist, the religious apologist with the reality of what the missionaries thought they were doing at the time they were doing it.

An event in the first year of missionary activity in Hawai‘i provides such a portrait. An account of it is presented here with the goal of illuminating the aspirations of the pioneer company (1820) to those islands through the records of an excommunication trial. This account presupposes the reader’s familiarity with Calvinist theology as it discusses the expectations placed on members of the mission and the failure of two individuals to meet those requirements. The trial and the issues leading to it demonstrate the insecurities, spirit of conformity, and religious zeal that afflicted early Protestant missionaries to Hawai‘i. The verdict of excommunication and the expulsion of the offenders from the missionary family reinforced these traits into a spirit of orthodoxy that restricted the admission of Hawaiians into the church until the revival of 1837-1838.

Article can be accessed here. 

Book Reviews

  • Hawaiian Music in Motion: Mariners, Missionaries, and Minstrels. By James Revell Carr. Western Historical Quarterly. Winter 2015.
  • Missionaries in Hawai‘i: The Lives of Peter and Fanny Gulick, 1797-1883. By Clifford Putney.The New England Quarterly. March 2011.
  • Possessing the Pacific: Land, Settlers, and Indigenous People from Australia to Alaska. By Stuart Banner.The Historian. 72:1. 243-244. Spring 2010.
  • Honolulu: The First Century. By Gavan Daws. Hawaiian Journal of History. 42. 2008.
  • Leaving Paradise: Indigenous Hawaiians in the Pacific Northwest 1787-1898.
    By Jean Barman and Bruce McIntyre Watson. Pacific Historical Review. 76:4. 2007.
  • North American Foreign Missions, 1810-1914: Theology, Theory, and Policy.
    By William R. Shenk (editor) American Historical Review. 111:1. 2006.
  • Pacific Pioneers: Japanese Journeys to America and Hawaii 1850-80.
    By John E. Van Sant. Journal of American Ethnic History. 20:4. 2001.
  • The Shipmans of East Hawaii.
    By Emmett Cahill Hawaiian Journal of History. 31. 1997.
  • Kona Echo: A Biography of Dr. Harvey Saburo Hayashi.
    By Jiro Nakano, M.D. Hawaiian Journal of History. 25. 1991.
  • Paths of Duty: American Missionary Wives in Nineteenth-Century Hawaii.
    By Patricia Grimshaw Hawaiian Journal of History. 24.1990.
  • The Bishop’s Progress: A Historical Ethnography of Catholic Missionary Experiences on the Sepik Frontier. By Mary Taylor Huber. American Anthropologist. 90:4.1988.

SANDRA’S BOOKS: Ambition, Arrogance & Pride; Saxon Heroines; Two Coins; Rama’s Labyrinth