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American Empire in the Nineteenth-Century Pacific: A Cultural Exploration

April 15, 2023 @ 2:00 pm - 5:30 pm

a DIALOGUES seminar

Many Americans are familiar with our nation’s history of colonial settlement “from sea to shining sea,” but we often forget that expansion didn’t end at the West Coast. This seminar will look at 19th-century art and literature to examine how Americans understood the Pacific and the people who lived on its islands and coasts—and the role a new American empire was to play in the region. We’ll review the ideas and works of Herman Melville, Henry Adams, and John La Farge, among others, and learn more about the complicated and at times troubling history of America in the Pacific.


US Pacific Imaginaries: From Melville’s Polynesia to Colonizing the Muslim Moros in the Philippines

Tim Marr, Professor of American Studies

Art and America’s Pacific Empire

Maggie Cao, David G. Frey Associate Professor of Art History

America, the Pacific, and Imperial Identity

A panel discussion with our speakers


2:00 pm-5:30 pm, Saturday, April 15. The tuition is $65 to attend in person or $50 for virtual viewing.  A meal will not be offered with this seminar.

UNC Students can attend for free, but pre-registration is required. Discounts are available for UNC faculty, & staff. To register as a UNC Student, Staff, or Faculty, see our Registration Policy here.

Co-Sponsored by the General Alumni Association.  For information about GAA discounts and other scholarships available to Humanities Program participants, click here.

In-person tuition for teachers is $32.50. Current K-12 teachers interested in receiving a complimentary virtual viewing registration for this seminar can apply here.

*Registration for this event closes on April 14 at 3pm*

Register online or call us at 919.962.1544. 

Participants will receive an email with venue information and background information about 1 week before the program.

**Please note that due to UNC regulations, masks are recommended, but not required for all in-person events regardless of vaccination status. In-person and hybrid events may switch to virtual-only based upon recommendations from local, state, and national public health officials. If an in-person or hybrid event is designated “virtual-only,” the CPH staff will contact registrants and provide them with information on how to attend virtually or with options for receiving credits or refunds. If you have any questions, please email or call 919.962.1544. We appreciate your flexibility during these trying times.**


April 15, 2023
2:00 pm - 5:30 pm
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