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David E. Stannard

David Stannard

David Stannard

PhD Yale University

Social and Cultural History
Race and Racism
Theory and Method

David E. Stannard received his B.A. degree from San Francisco State University in 1971 and his Ph.D. from Yale University in 1975. His teaching and research interests include American social, cultural, and intellectual history; theory and method in history and social science; the demographic and environmental impacts of Western imperialism; comparative analyses of genocide; and race, racism, and multicultural studies.

In addition to teaching at the University of Hawai‘i (where he has received the Regents Medal for Excellence in Teaching) he has taught at Yale and, as a visiting professor, at Stanford University and the University of Colorado at Boulder. His books include The Puritan Way of Death: A Study in Religion, Culture and Social Change (Oxford), Shrinking History: On Freud and the Failure of Psychohistory (Oxford), Before the Horror: The Population of Hawai‘i on the Eve of Western Contact (University of Hawai‘i Press), American Holocaust: The Conquest of the New World (Oxford), and Honor Killing: How the Infamous “Massie Affair” Transformed Hawaii (Viking). He also has edited a book, Death in America (University of Pennsylvania Press), and has published numerous articles in The American Historical Review, American Quarterly, The Journal of American Studies, and other scholarly journals and anthologies, as well as in such general readership publications as The Nation, The New Republic, Cultural Survival Quarterly, and The Chronicle of Higher Education. Publications of his have been translated into French, Spanish, German, Italian, Turkish, and Japanese.

Professor Stannard has been awarded Rockefeller, Guggenheim, and American Council of Learned Societies research fellowships and he has lectured in Asia, Europe, and throughout the United States. The producer and moderator of a local public affairs television show for many years, he works with various environmental and political organizations and is interviewed regularly for radio, television, and documentary film projects. In 2005 he served as principal consultant and on-air commentator for the PBS American Experience documentary, “The Massie Affair.” He has been elected twice to the Board of Directors of the University of Hawai‘i Professional Assembly (the UH faculty union) and has chaired its collective bargaining committee.



Honor Killing by David Stannard

_Honor Killing: How the Infamous "Massie Affair" Transformed Hawaii_ by David Stannard

“A riveting retelling of one of the great trials of the early 20th century….Powerfully told, deeply researched …this book is a page-turner.” Chicago Sunday Tribune

“Masterfully portrays the personalities involved and interweaves the tense courtroom drama with absorbing analysis of how the Massie case helped to transform race consciousness in paradise.” Booklist

“Deconstructs the racially charged spectacle…[and] strips bare the racist oppression by a small white oligarchy that ran most of plantation era Hawaii.” San Francisco Chronicle

“Suspenseful [and] paced like the best paperback thriller…But more to the point, this is important, nuanced history that sheds light on the history of imperialism, race, criminology, and gender. Completely captivating.” Kirkus Reviews



American Holocaust: The Conquest of the New World by David Stannard

_American Holocaust: The Conquest of the New World_ by David Stannard

“A devastating portrait of the death, disease, misery, and apocalyptic destruction experienced by American Indians during the centuries after 1492.” Washington Post Book World

“A stunning book of immense importance. . . . a splendid antidote to those many books on American Indian policy that ignore the realities of the subject.” Journal of American Ethnic History

“Vivid and relentless, combining a formidable array of primary sources with meticulous analysis–a devastating reassessment of the Conquest as nothing less than a holy war.” Kirkus Reviews

“The product of massive reading in the important sources. . . . Stannard’s convincing claim is that what happened was the worst demographic disaster in the history of our species.” Boston Sunday Globe



Before the Horror: The Population of Hawai‘i on the Eve of Western Contact by David Stannard

_Before the Horror: The Population of Hawai‘i on the Eve of Western Contact_ by David Stannard

“Stannard writes about death in ways that most of us would like to live–with sensitivity, grace, and verve. . . . A powerful study of the catastrophic destruction of the Hawaiian people . . . it will compel the rewriting of island history.” American Ethnologist

“Stannard advances a challenging and formidable argument . . . . painting a grim picture of the havoc of European-introduced diseases. . . . A rigorous and informative work.” Pacific Historical Review

“[In] demographic prose remarkable for its clarity . . . Stannard dissects each assumption [and] makes a convincing case. . . . The intellectual satisfactions of following Stannard’s argument are vivid and memorable.” American Historical Review



Shrinking History: On Freud and the Failure of Psychohistory by David Stannard

_Shrinking History: On Freud and the Failure of Psychohistory_ by David Stannard

“What makes Stannard’s attack effective is that, instead of simply raising objections, he cites study after study to buttress his argument. . . . His calm, reasoned, argumentative style is undeniably persuasive.” New York Times Book Review

“Devastates the pretensions of psychohistory and in the course of doing that mounts an out and out attack on psychoanalysis as a theory and a therapy. . . . Stannard’s achievement is to make the whole enterprise appear irretrievably dubious.” New Republic

“An enormously lively, well-written book. . . . Stannard marshals his argument with verve. This admirable book is the product of a civilized intelligence and is a pleasure to read.” Contemporary Psychology



The Puritan Way of Death: A Study in Religion, Culture and Social Change by David Stannard

_The Puritan Way of Death: A Study in Religion, Culture and Social Change_ by David Stannard

“Draws with ease on a rich and complex literature [and] ably takes the plot over the nineteenth century bridge from their world to ours. . . . An engrossing book.” New York Times Book Review

“A powerful and moving study of New England Puritanism” London Times Literary Supplement

“An extremely valuable work . . . . Uses theological beliefs skillfully to interpret social practices and at the same time provide a new historical perspective from which to interpret, and change, the modern American way of death.” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion

“Complex and insightful…An exemplary piece of cultural sociology as well as a careful and enlightening historical study.” Contemporary Sociology



Death in America by David Stannard

_Death in America_ by David Stannard

“A splendid collection…focusing on a past in which death was accepted and fitted into a system of beliefs, to a present in which death is either denied or left to the individual to cope with in his or her own way….A fascinating and stimulating book.” History: the Journal of the Historical Association

“An excellent book of readings….Careful and intelligent…vivid. Sociology: Reviews of New Books

“Excellent….Provides historical background for the contemporary cultural suppression of death, the American obsession with the present…and the psychic penalties accompanying the virtual disappearance of mourning.” Journal of Interdisciplinary History