A Primer for Teaching Pacific Histories

Ten Design Principles

A Primer for Teaching Pacific Histories

Design Principles for Teaching History

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Book Pages: 184 Illustrations: Published: May 2020

Author: Matt K. Matsuda

Asian Studies, Australia/New Zealand/Oceania, History > World History

A Primer for Teaching Pacific Histories is a guide for college and high school teachers who are teaching Pacific histories for the first time or for experienced teachers who want to reinvigorate their courses. It can also serve those who are training future teachers to prepare their own syllabi, as well as teachers who want to incorporate Pacific histories into their world history courses. Matt K. Matsuda offers design principles for creating syllabi that will help students navigate a wide range of topics, from settler colonialism, national liberation, and warfare to tourism, popular culture, and identity. He also discusses practical pedagogical techniques and tips, project-based assignments, digital resources, and how Pacific approaches to teaching history differ from customary Western practices. Placing the Pacific Islands at the center of analysis, Matsuda draws readers into the process of strategically designing courses that will challenge students to think critically about the interconnected histories of East Asia, Southeast Asia, Australia, the Pacific Islands, and the Americas within a global framework.


“This is an inspired and inspiring text—a welcome and much needed contribution rich with resources, pedagogical innovation, and practical strategies. Conceptually exciting, it takes an ‘assemblage’ approach that emphasizes relationships and connections between actors and events across time. It offers a rethinking as to what constitutes the Pacific world itself—from the margins to the center, particularly from the Pacific Rim to the Oceanic basin—all while emphasizing connectivity in relation to global histories.” — J. Kehaulani Kauanui, author of Paradoxes of Hawaiian Sovereignty: Land, Sex, and the Colonial Politics of State Nationalism

“Bringing multiple aspects of Pacific histories together in new and welcome ways, Matt K. Matsuda provides a more comprehensive approach to teaching the field than any other publication that currently exists.” — Heather Streets-Salter, author of World War One in Southeast Asia: Colonialism and Anticolonialism in an Era of Global Conflict


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Price: $23.95

Open Access

Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Matt K. Matsuda is Professor of History and Academic Dean of the Honors College at Rutgers University-New Brunswick and author of Pacific Worlds: A History of Seas, Peoples, and Cultures and Empire of Love: Histories of France and the Pacific.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Acknowledgments  vii
Introduction: Objectives  1
Part I. Foundations
1. Begin with the State of Our Knowledge  19
2. Secure the Fundamentals: Navigation, Diaspora, Settlement  25
3. Underscore the Connections: Encounters in the Contact Zone  33
4. Review Disputed Legacies and Arguments  51
Part II. Devising Strategies
5. Imperialism as a Teaching Tool  67
6. Anthropology and Ethnology as Teaching Tools  89
7. Conflict as a Teaching Tool  95
8. Identity as a Teaching Tool  105
Part III. Performed Histories
9. Distinguish Representations and Realities  113
10. See the Process of Enacting Knowledge  121
Notes  145
Selected Bibliography  155
Index  161
Sales/Territorial Rights: World

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Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-1-4780-0847-7 / Cloth ISBN: 978-1-4780-0795-1