Pacific History (History 1911)





Prof. David Armitage

Tuesday, 2-4 pm, Lower Library, Robinson Hall

Enrolment: conference course, limited to 15 undergraduates and graduate students; auditors with instructor's permission

The Pacific Ocean forms the world’s largest feature and has arguably its most expansive and diverse history. It covers a third of the Earth’s surface (63 million square miles), more than the entire land-area of the globe. Humans have inhabited it for over 45,000 years and one-third of humanity lives on its shores and islands. Many rich and well-developed fields cover its history, among them the histories of Pacific Islanders, of Asian and European migration and empire, of settler societies from Russia to New Zealand, of both the North and the South Pacifics, and of the Pacific Rim. Meanwhile, a new historiography is beginning to emerge which attempts a pan–Pacific perspective, bringing these fields together to see the Pacific as a whole.

This conference course—open to both undergraduates and graduate students— will introduce two of the most innovative and challenging strains of contemporary history–writing—the history of oceans and global history—through a focus on the history of the Pacific. The class is aimed at anyone with interests in Russia, Asia, North America, the Pacific Islands, South America, and Australasia, as well as those interested in oceanic, transnational, and global history. By reading across these fields, as well as by engaging with some of the most innovative and challenging recent studies that propose a pan–Pacific vision, participants will be on the cutting edge of an expanding and exciting area of current historical work.

Syllabus (Pacific History).pdf678 KB

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