Jack London scholars gathering on Kaua’i this week

The Kauai Historical Society is co-sponsoring a symposium for the Jack London Society beginning today and running through Saturday, at the Radisson Kauai Beach Hotel.

This is the Jack London Society’s sixth Biennial Symposium and the first time the organization has held it in Hawai’i.

The conference features speakers on various aspects of London’s writing and life.

A lu’au will be held at the Waimea Plantation Cottages on Saturday night as part of the festivities accompanying the scholarly side of the gathering.

Local residents are among the featured speakers at the conference.

“The True Story of Kaluaikoolau, As Told by His Wife, Piilani,” will be told by Kaua’i author and noted Hawaiian language translator Frances Frazier,

John Lydgate, President, Kauai Historical Society, and grandson of the Rev. John Lydgate will about his family hosting Jack London during his stay on Kaua’i in 1915.

Chris Cook, editor of The Garden Island will speak on London’s connections to Kaua’i.

London biographer and leading London scholar Earle Labor is among the visiting scholars who will speak at the conference.

Conference director is Jeanne Campbell Reesman of the University of Texas at San Antonio. Reesman formerly taught at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa.

The Jack London Society, Inc. is an international non-profit organization promoting study of the life and work of Jack London.

Other speakers include Jane Murphy Romjue of the Iolani School in Honolulu, who will speak on “Jack London in Hawai’i” and Jack London’s use of Hawaiian Mythology and Legends in his story “The Water Baby.”

“Jack London and the Reinvention of Surfing,” is the topic of a talk by Joel Smith of Hermosa Beach, Calif.

“The Real Jack London in Hawaii,” is the title of a talk by Eleanor Guilford of San Francisco.

“To Stare Down the Noseless One: Jack London and the Lepers at Molokai,” by Jana Rivers Norton of the National University; “Exchanging Bodies: Jack London’s Polynesian ‘Other’ in ‘The Heathen,’ and ‘Koolau the Leper,'” by William R. Davis of the Hawaii Preparatory Academy in Kamuela on the Big Island;

“Can A Haole Ever Tell a Hawaiian Story Sympathetically? Versions of London’s “Koolau the Leper,” by Phyllis Frus of Hawaii Pacific University.

On Saturday a beach picnic is planned at Lydgate Park with entertainment by kumu hula Blaine Kia and the ladies of Halau Ka Waikahe-Lani-Malie.

For more information call the Kaua’i Historical Society at 245-3373.

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