Transpacific connections and oceanic empires

Frances Steel

This project examines the transformation of the Pacific Ocean as a medium of mobility, connection and competition as rapidly changing technologies of transport bridged the expanse between Australasia and North America from the second half of the nineteenth century. Bracketed by steam’s entry into Pacific shipping in the 1860s through to the rise of commercial aviation in the 1950s, the project explores how people related to new modes of transpacific connectivity, and traces the impact on island and littoral societies and cultures. It also examines the ways in which these regional networks animated interdependencies and tensions between spheres of British and American imperial power. This project has been supported by an ARC grant (DE120101731).