Pacific Encounters: The Creation of an Oceanic World, 1770s-1840s


Frederick Burkhardt Residential Fellowships for Recently Tenured Scholars




For residence at the Huntington Library during academic year 2009-2010


This project examines the cultural, ecological, and economic forces that shaped the eastern Pacific Basin in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. This study locates global-scale change in the local and personal exchanges between indigenous, European, American, and Asian populations—an international convergence of people who experienced markedly different fates. By closely investigating encounters along the American-Pacific littoral (from Alaska to Alta California to Peru) and the wider ocean (the island Pacific, China), this project explores the remaking of communities and geographies in the early modern world. This is the first interdisciplinary study of its kind to examine the Pacific Basin through the intersections of American, oceanic, and world history.