Joseph Han

Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Admin Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Shawna Yang Ryan

Second Advisor

Laurel Fantauzzo

Third Advisor

Candace Fujikane

Fourth Advisor

Craig Santos Perez

Fifth Advisor

Young-a Park


Nuclear Family is a multi-perspective novel that works at the intersection of Korean diaspora and settler colonialism in Hawaiʻi as it is imbricated in U.S. militarization of the Pacific. Written in twelve chapters, Nuclear Family is about a son detained after attempting to cross the DMZ into North Korea. His younger sister, parents, and their family plate lunch restaurant face backlash from his actions, when their sense of family and belonging as “local” become threatened by the anxiety, paranoia, and fear around their origins. As the narrative shifts between the siblings, and focalization on the family shifts to other characters, the novel challenges the way Hawaiʻi is presented as an idyllic multicultural destination primed for the family unit to claim as a place of leisure or to call “home.”


The creative work in this dissertation is suppressed in the UH institutional repository, Kahualike, Inquiries about the creative work should be made to Joseph Han.