Hawaiian Mission Houses Historic Site and Archives
12:00 PM - 01:00 PM on Tue, 19 Oct 2021
The Hawaiian Mission Houses Historic Site and Archives is continuing its bimonthly virtual speaker series to highlight the discoveries and work of diverse history and humanities scholars that work with Hawaiian Mission Houses' extensive archives that inform our contemporary world. The Hawaiian Mission Houses' speaker series: Archives and Inquiry, an hour long discussion, will begin with the guest speaker and end with a Q& A from the audience.
Dr. Carmen Tomfohrde's presentation offers a contextualization of the early years of the Hawaiian mission against prior years of Polynesian mission history south of the equator. This talk will discuss the archival texts and documents that narrate the early Polynesian mission histories from the first days of missionary arrivals to to the era in which Christianity became dominant. While missionaries in Tahiti, Tonga, and the Marquesas experienced years of failures before large-scale conversions began, the First Company of missionaries to Hawai'i found receptive audiences soon after arriving in 1820. This presentation will discuss this era of culture change and suggest lessons Hawai'i may have learned from the experiences of the Society Islands.
Carmen Tomfohrde holds a bachelor’s degree from Minneapolis College of Art and Design, and she completed her M.A. and Ph.D. at the University of Hong Kong. Funded by the Research Grants Council of Hong Kong, her interdisciplinary doctoral research on missionaries in Polynesia took her to Tonga as a guest lecturer; to the Marquesas, where she assisted museum development on the island of Tahuata; and to additional sites in Polynesia, the United States, and England. As a project manager, she developed a Learning Resources Center in Hong Kong, and she has additional work experience in the visual arts and corporate sectors, in addition to teaching experience gained in the United States, mainland China, and Hong Kong.