Ethan Caldwell, Faculty, Department of Ethnic Studies, UH Mānoa

Ethan Caldwell

Assistant Professor
Office: George Hall 304
1 (808) 956-5354


I am an interdisciplinary African American specialist from a mixed race background who focuses on how members of the Black diaspora construct conceptions of Blackness, race, and empire throughout their experiences in the Pacific. Much of this is informed through my training in African American Studies and Ethnic Studies, alongside my own upbringing and research in military contexts on the continent and in the Pacific. I use these various perspectives in the classroom, where I am committed to providing students with the space, knowledge, and critical discussion to challenge and develop their understanding of the world.


  • PhD, African American Studies, Northwestern University, 2017


My research interests include the Black Diaspora in Oceania, Black-Asian relations, mixed race studies, militarism, and visual culture. I focus on their post-WWII intersections in Okinawa as they impact constructions of race, gender, empire, and Blackness abroad. In my current book project, I analyze how these dynamic constructions are historically and visually formed, challenged, and impacted through interactions between African American soldiers and Okinawan civilians. My photography projects include collaborative exhibits that analyze war, historical memory, and foodways.

Community Engagement

I am the faculty advisor for the UH Mānoa Black Student Association.