Cosmopolitan Nationalism: Hawaii, China, and Italy in the Late 19th Century

This Imagine Grant would fund research and conference travel to support my new research project on the interplay of nationalist movements in Hawai?i, Italy, and the Pearl River Delta of China. I argue that a close examination nationalist politics in the late nineteenth century demonstrates the paradoxical cosmopolitanism of nationalism in the period. This new research traces the movement of political nationalisms through space and social context: the way a Native Hawaiian nationalist studying in Italy grafted Garibaldian nationalist ideas onto existing Native Hawaiian notions of sovereignty, and the way that Chinese anti-Manchu nationalism and Hawaiian resistance to American colonialism influenced each other in surprising ways. Native Hawaiian, European, and Chinese ideas about nationalism combined in unanticipated ways that shaped the end of imperial China and today's Native Hawaiian sovereignty movement.

This work emerges from my recent research on trans-Pacific networks, but differs from it: I move from the study of social and kinship bonds to the study of the movement and transformation of political ideas. I will continue using Hawaiian-language, English-language, and Chinese-language sources, and will use more Portuguese-language sources from Macau. This grant would pay for me to present my work at meetings of the American Historical Association, the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association, and the American Society for Church History, and provide partial support for a research trip to Honolulu.

The project will produce three conference papers and two articles I will submit to major journals (the Journal of World History and American Historical Quarterly).

Key Dates


AHD Chair Position: Application now open


Annual Faculty Award: Application period begins


Special Events: Round 1 Application Period Begins