America and the Pacific World

The 2018 Harmsworth Conference in American History

The 20th century has been called America’s “Pacific century.”  The nation’s turn toward the great ocean had its beginnings in the century before with a quickening of economic, scientific, and political interest that in turn was encouraged by global changes in technology and commerce—and, in 1848, the discovery of gold in California.  Others, in particular Great Britain and China, were extending their reach into the Pacific as well.  In this one-day conference, prominent scholars from the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia will explore the invigoration of contact around the Pacific, from trade and exploration to missionary activity and transmission of disease, and will consider its implications for the United States and the world.

All welcome: no registration required


9.30-10.00 Coffee and tea
10.00-11.00 Steven Hahn, NYU
‘The Pacific and the Limits of the Atlantic World in American History’
11.15-12.15 David Igler, UC Irvine
‘The U.S. in the Pacific:  A Variegated Empire’
12.30-1.30 Lunch
1.30-2.30 Alison Bashford, New South Wales
‘Pacific Borders: Quarantine and Immigration Across the Great Ocean’
2.45-3.45 Seth Archer, Utah State
‘Revolutions of 1848:  Hawaiian Health and Land Reform’
3.45-4.15 Coffee and tea
4.15-5.15 Kevin Waite, Durham
‘The Southern Dream of a Pacific Empire’
5.30-6.30 Reception