Skip to main content
Trade, Time, and the Calculus of Risk in Early Pacific Travel Writing
  • Michelle Burnham, Santa Clara University
Document Type
Publication Date
University of North Carolina Press
In the 2005 Common-place issue on early America and the Pacific, historians Edward Gray and Alan Taylor observe that the Atlantic studies paradigm, which moves "beyond nations and states as the defining subjects of historical understanding, turning instead to large scale processes" is also particularly "useful for understanding Pacific history" since "dis- ease, migration, trade, and war effected [sic] the Pacific in much the way they effected [sic] the Atlantic." A similar transfer of the Atlantic world model to the Pacific informs David Igler s insistence that, like the Atlantic, the Pacific world was "international before it became national."1 Igler notes that most scholarship on the Pacific has instead relied, however, on a national framework, leaving "too little of this work . . . cast in a comparative, transnational, or transoceanic mold" (par 5). As this critique suggests, it is time to consider not just the exchanges and processes within each of these oceanic worlds but between them as well. In this essay, I examine late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century Pacific travel writing in precisely such a transoceanic context.

Copyright © 2011 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher.

Citation Information
Burnham, M. (2011). Trade, Time, and the Calculus of Risk in Early Pacific Travel Writing. Early American Literature, 46(3), 425-447.