David A. Chappell

David A. Chappell

Professor Emeritus
Pacific, Africa, World, Maritime History

Email: dchappel@hawaii.edu

BA Syracuse, 1968
MA Stanford, 1971
PhD Hawaiʻi, 1991



After earning my BA in 1968 from Syracuse University (and Hamilton College) in European and African History, I taught English in the Peace Corps for two years in the Ivory Coast, West Africa. I then earned my MA in African History from Stanford University in 1971 and traveled in Asia, teaching history in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I also taught history in secondary schools in the mainland US and on Maui. In 1991, I earned my Ph.D. in Pacific history at UHM and have since taught that here and in the Marshall Islands, American Sāmoa and New Caledonia. My early research was on Pacific Islanders who worked and traveled on foreign ships, but more recently I have worked on the Francophone Pacific. My second book, The Kanak Awakening: The Rise of Nationalism in New Caledonia, has been translated into French.

Book Publications

Representative Journal Articles

  • 2018 “Voices of Liberation: Indigenous Political Writings in Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and
    Vanuatu during the Decolonization Era,” Pacific Studies (BYU-H), 41: 3, 158-187.
  • 2016 “Water Nations: Colonial Bordering, Exploitation and Indigenous Nation-Building in
    Kiribati and Tuvalu,” Pacific-Asia Inquiry (U. Guam), Vol. 7, No. 1 (Fall), 8-25.
  • 2010 “A ‘Headless’ Native Talks Back: Nidoish Naisseline and the Kanak Awakening,” The
    Contemporary Pacific, 22: 1, 37-70.
  • 2005 “ ‘Africanization’ in the Pacific: Blaming Others for Disorder in the Periphery?”
    Comparative Studies in Society and History, 47:2, 286-317.
  • 2000 “The Forgotten Mau: Anti-Navy Protest in American Samoa, 1920-35,” Pacific
    Historical Review, 69: 2 (May), 217-60. [Winner, AHA-PCB Koontz Award, 2001]
  • 1999 “Transnationalism in Central Oceanian Politics: A Dialectic between Diasporas and
    Nationhood?” Journal of the Polynesian Society, 108: 3 (September), 277-303.
  • 1995 “Active agents vs. passive victims: decolonized historiography or problematic paradigm?”
    Contemporary Pacific, 7:2, 303 26; reprinted in Voyaging through Contemporary Pacific.
  • 1994 “Secret Sharers: Indigenous Beachcombers in the Pacific Islands,” Pacific Studies, 17: 2
  • 1994 “Kru and Kanaka: Participation by African and Pacific Island Seamen in Euroamerican
    Maritime Frontiers,” International Journal of Maritime History, 6: 2, 83-114.
  • 1992 “Shipboard relations between Pacific Island women and Euroamerican men, 1767-1887,”
    Journal of Pacific History, 27: 2, 131-49. [Included as supplementary material in 2004
    Houghton-Mifflin edition of Herman Melville’s novel Typee, ed. Gregory Sandborn.]
  • 1989 “The Nation as Frontier: Ethnicity and Clientelism in Ivorian History,” The International
    Journal of African Historical Studies, 22: 4, 671-96.

Selected Other Publications

  • 2018 “What’s in a Referendum? Envisioning Nationhood in Kanaky New Caledonia,” Oceania
    Currents (UHM Center for Pacific islands Studies), forthcoming, 10 pp.
  • 2016 “Settler Colonialism in New Caledonia,” in Routledge Handbook of the History of Settler
    Colonialism. Eds. Edward Cavanagh and Lorenzo Veracini. NY: Routledge, 409-24.
  • 2011 “Hawai`i: Quelques Aspects Problématiques de sa rélation fédérale avec les USA,” in
    Jean-Yves Faberon, Vivienne Fayard, and Jean-Marc Regnault (eds.), Destins des
    collectivités politiques d’Océanie. Aix-Marseille: Presses Universitaires, 2 vols, 337-43.
  • 1995-2014 “New Caledonia: Issues and Events,” The Contemporary Pacific, political reviews.
  • 2010 “Historical Perspectives on Independence,” Revue Juridique Polynésienne (Tahiti),
    Special Issue, Etats et Constitutions du Pacifique Sud (E.Guiselin and M.Joyau), 71-90.
  • “Federalism, Association & Independence: Discourses on Future Status in New
    Caledonia,”Revue Juridique Polynésienne (Tahiti), Special Issue, Governance and Self-
    reliance in Pacific Island Societies, Comparative Studies (A.Angelo, Y-L. Sage), 207-17.
  • 2007 “Le Réveil Kanak: Les Intellectuels Anti-Colonialistes Re-Inventent la Nation,” in F.
    Angleviel (ed.), Approches Croisées de l’Histoire Calédonienne, Indes Savantes, 28 pp.
  • “Development or Underdevelopment: Isle-lands or Cultures?” Singapore Journal of
    Tropical Geography, invited commentary on John Connell’s “Islands, Idylls and the
    Detours of Development,” 28: 2 (July), 139-41.
  • 2005 “Reflections on Nuclear Testing in the South Pacific,” Guest Editor of a Dialogue among
    Jean-Marc Regnault, Stewart Firth, Nic Maclellan, John Doom and Bruno Barrillot, and
    Gaby Tetiarahi in The Contemporary Pacific, 17:2 (Fall), 336-86. My Introduction: “In
    Quest of Dialogue on a ‘Hot’ Subject, 336-38.
  • 2004 “Ahab’s Boat: Non-European Seamen in Western Ships of Exploration and Commerce,”
    in Sea Changes: Historicizing the Ocean, ed. Bernhard Klein and Gesa Mackenthun,
    New York: Routledge, 75-89. [German edition 2003: “Ahab Boot. Nicht-europaeische
    Seemaenner auf westlichen Entdeckungs – und Handelsschiffen,” in Das Meer als
    Kulturelle Kontacktzone. Räume, Reisende, Repräsentationen, ed. Bernhard Klein und
    Gesa Mackenthun, Constance: University Press, 175-99.]
  • “Violences Coloniales à Hawai`i,” in Frédéric Angleviel (ed.), Violences Océaniennes,
    Paris: L’Harmattan, 63-75.
  • 2003 “Une destinée manifeste? Les États-Unis et leurs territoires insulaires du Pacifique,” in
    Jean-Marc Regnault (ed.), François Mitterrand et les Territoires Français du Pacifique,
    1981-1988, Paris: Indes Savantes, 535-44.

Le réveil Kanak

The Kanak Awakening

Double Ghosts