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Course Description

This is a course about the history of Hawai’i, a history largely shaped since the mid-nineteenth century by the U.S., Japan, and the U.S.-Japan relationship. It is a course about Pacific history in general, especially that of Polynesia; the human settlement of islands; the evolution of culture in response to environment, and the emergence of an “archaic kingship” on the basis of feudal landholding, forced to become a modern monarchy after 1820, only to fall to the U.S. Marines in 1893 and join the expanding U.S. empire. It’s a course about oceanic commerce, settler-colonialism, sugar, pineapple, racism, religious proselytization, tourism, and cultural suppression. It is about capitalist exploitation of a multinational proletariat, as well as imperialism and war---but also about cultural survival, music, sports, adaptation, resistance, and growing solidarity among island workers.  

The course will encourage the development of critical reasoning and writing skills in engaging past societies, expose the student to multiple methods of accessing history, conceptualize capitalism and imperialism in deep historical perspective, and understand race and class categories in one highly complex and evolving society in Polynesia.  

Lecture format with ample time for discussion. Two exams and weekly short written assignments. 

•       Grading: 25% attendance and participation in discussion; 25% short written assignments; 25% midterm; 25% final exam. 

Basic Enrollment Requirements: 

Academic Year (Fall/Spring): Unofficial Transcript – Bachelor’s Degree or progress towards a Bachelor’s Degree + 3.0 GPA.

Summer: None.

Refund Policy: The refund policy for Courses at Tufts offerings is dependent on the offering type: whether the offering is a course, workshop or short course, or in-demand offering. Please refer to the section details to confirm the type of offering as well as any exceptions to the standard refund policy. The refund policies for each offering type are viewable here:

Remission Eligible: Yes; first day of term; all university policies apply.

Affiliated With:

  • School of Arts & Sciences