A Global Intellectual History of the Pacific
The Pacific Ocean is not only a geographical entity composed of a large mass of water and myriad islands, but also a conceptual and ideological construct represented by images, perceptions, and visions of the people engaged with this thalassic space. Who has spoken of the ‘Pacific’ and what meaning has been invested in it? For whom has the ‘Pacific’ been conceived, and what intentions lay behind such conception? What images, representations, and systems of meaning about the ‘Pacific’ have we inherited? ‘A Global Intellectual History of the Pacific’ weaves a novel intellectual history to answer these questions.
This project analyses the writings (e.g., books, papers, journals, pamphlets, novels, travelogues, and narratives) authored in modern and contemporary times by people of the Pacific rim countries, those traversing the Pacific, and those inhabiting the Pacific islands near the equator as well as in the southern hemisphere. It seeks to discover the diverse perceptions, visions, and concepts of the ‘Pacific’ embedded in these writings. The project includes exploring such intellectual or imaginary constructs about the specific regions of the Pacific, including Oceania, Melanesia, and the Nan’yō (or the ‘South Seas’) region (conceived thus in modern Japan). Our intellectual endeavour therefore encompasses aspects of Japanese intellectual history, Australian and New Zealand intellectual history, American intellectual history (and so forth), as well as the intellectual history of the island regions. Given the Pacific’s deep entanglement with the history of modern colonialism, our project also engages European intellectual history and postcolonial thought. Moreover, by analysing how the various conceptions of the ‘Pacific’ born in different regions have been related to, and have interacted with one another, we will attempt to carve out a distinct scholarly area—‘Pacific Intellectual History’—that cannot be fully reduced to the history of any single nation (for more, click ‘Project Overview’ tab).
|Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, the University of Tokyo||History of imperial and international thought|
|Takuya Furuta||Nishogakusha University||History of British political thought, the methodology of intellectual history|
|Yoshi Kamimura||Kansai Gakuin University||History of British imperial thought, global intellectual history|
|Naoki Nishida||Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, the University of Tokyo||French history, comparative welfare state politics|
|Aerim Ryu||Kyushu University||Intellectual history of modern East Asia|
|Sana Sakihama||East Asian Academy for New Liberal Arts||Intellectual history of modern Japan and Okinawa|
|Shaun Yajima||Graduate School of Economics, the University of Tokyo||History of economics in the 20th Century|