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'The West, the East, and the Insular Middle: Pacific Integration During the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries' with Robert I. Hellyer, Wake Forest University
'The West, the East, and the Insular Middle: Pacific Integration During the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries' with Robert I. Hellyer, Wake Forest University
WhenFriday, Feb. 28, 2020, 3:30 – 5 p.m.
Campus locationThomson Hall (THO)
Campus room317
Event typesLectures/Seminars
Event sponsorsUW Japan Studies Program
Description

In this presentation, professor Hellyer will explore how Pacific integration began in the ocean’s western sphere and later moved into its insular middle and eastern sphere. He will demonstrate this by tracing three, ocean-wide trends: the emergence of common trading goals and systems, the expansive role of reciprocal demand, and the shared experiences of Pacific peoples, who as slaves and in tribute-based and free labor systems, produced prominent trade goods. It presents additional new perspectives by identifying a “silver substitute century” in maritime commerce from 1750 to 1850, and by establishing the 1850s and 1860s as a period of transition from the influence of China-centered to Western-centered demand in Pacific trade. It thus reveals the limits of established interpretations that emphasize Western state and imperial initiatives and the role of Western technological and manufacturing dominance in the process of integration.

Robert I. Hellyer (PhD. Stanford) is an Associate Professor of History at Wake Forest University in North Carolina. His research focuses on early modern and modern Japan, especially socio-economic perspectives related to trade. His publications include Defining Engagement: Japan and Global Contexts, 1640-1868 (Harvard University Asia Center, 2010), Robert Hellyer and Harald Fuess, eds., The Meiji Restoration: Japan as a Global Nation (Cambridge University Press, 2020) and numerous articles emerging from his current project exploring Japan’s export of green tea to the United States in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

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