Cynthia Franklin



Department of English

A professor in the English Department, I have been at UH since completing my PhD from UC Berkeley in 1994.

In both my teaching and research, I am interested in contemporary works--primarily but not exclusively written in the U.S.--that challenge genre boundaries, and that engage issues in feminist and queer theory, life writing, studies of race and ethnicity, and cultural studies. My work increasingly takes up questions pertaining to Palestine. Courses that I have taught explore topics including: the humanities and human rights; memoir and disability; love and terror; education and culture; and multi-genre women's literature.

I am the author of Academic Lives: Memoir, Cultural Theory and the University Today (2009) and Writing Women's Communities: The Politics and Poetics of Contemporary Multi-Genre Anthologies (1997). Essays and review articles appear in American Quarterly, Biography, Cultural Critique, Gay and Lesbian Quarterly, Hitting Critical Mass, Life Writing, LIT, MELUS, The Contemporary Pacific, and in Gloria Anzaldúa and AnaLouise Keating's This Bridge We Call Home, and in Fred Ho's Diary of a Cancer Warrior: Fighting Cancer and Capitalism at the Cellular Level.

A significant part of my work is collaborative. With Ibrahim Aoude and Morgan Cooper, I co-edited a special issue of Biography, "Life in Occupied Palestine," available for free download on Project MUSE. This project emerged out of trip to the West Bank on a fellowship from PARC (Palestinian American Research Center). More about this project and events held in relation to it in London, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Palestine can be found on our website.

I have co-edited two other special issues of Biography: with Miram Fuchs, "Translating Lives," and with Laura Lyons, "Personal Effects: The Testimonial Uses of Life Writing." In that issue appears our introduction, "Bodies of Evidence and the Intricate Machines of Untruth," and our interviews with Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak and Haunani-Kay Trask. I also have collaborated with Laura Lyons on articles entitled "Remixing Hybridity: Globalization, Native Resistance, and Cultural Production in Hawaii" (in American Studies and Acoma), and "From Grief to Grievance: Ethics and Politics in the Testimony of Anti-War Mothers" (in Life Writing and Trauma Texts). Our essay, “‘I Have a Family’: Relational Witnessing and the Evidentiary Power of Grief in the Gwen Araujo Case,” appears in GLQ.

I am currently at work on a book project that takes up understandings of human and civil rights in relation to Palestine. The essay “Eichmann and his Ghosts: The Unstable Status of the Human, and Uncivil States,” which appears in Cultural Critique 88 (Fall 2014) comes from that project.

I co-edit the journal Biography with Craig Howes and John Zuern, and am on the Coordinating Council for the Center on Disability Studies. I have served as Director of the Honors Program in English and on the International Cultural Studies Program Steering Committee, and have been active in campus-wide organizations including the UH GMO Education Project and the University Peace Initiative. As well, I serve on the board for Hūlili and was a member of the program committee for the 2016 American Studies Association (ASA) conference.

I am on the Steering Committee for the Organizing Collective of USACBI, the US Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel. I also founded UH Faculty and Students for Justice in Palestine, and co-founded the Hawai'i Coalition for Justice in Palestine (HCJP) and Jewish Voice for Peace-Hawai'i.

Awards include the Frances Davis Memorial Award for Excellence in Teaching, 1998; the Board of Regents' Award for Excellence in Teaching, 2007; and the PARC Palestinian American Research Center (PARC) Fellow, Faculty Development Seminar, 2013.

Department of English