David Anthony Chang is a professor of history at the University of Minnesota. A historian of indigenous people, race, colonialism, and anticolonialism in the United States and Hawai'i, his research focuses especially on the histories of American Indian and Native Hawaiian people. He is the author of two books. The World and All the Things upon It: Native Hawaiian Geographies of Exploration (2016) draws on long-ignored Hawaiian-language sources—stories, songs, chants, and political prose—to trace how Native Hawaiians in the long nineteenth century explored the outside world, generated their own understandings of it, and worked to influence their metaphorical "place in the world." His award-winning first book, The Color of the Land: Race, Nation, and the Politics of Landownership in Oklahoma, 1832–1929 (2010), argues for the central place of struggles over the ownership of Native American lands in the making of the racial and national categories that operated among American Indians, African Americans, and whites in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Oklahoma. He is currently working on two projects: the global and cosmopolitan circuits linking nationalists in Italy, Hawai'i, and China in the late nineteenth century; and the eighteenth-century travels of a Hawaiian chief, Ka'iana'ahu'ula, whose voyage to China, the Philippines, Palau, Alaska, and Vancouver Island convinced him that he could shape relations with westerners to his own advantage.
This lecture rethinks the attack on Pearl Harbor from the perspective of Native Hawaiian history. Seen from Hawaiʻi, the attack comes into sight as an event in the conflict between the American and Japanese empires in the Pacific, and as a turning point that would change the history of Hawaiʻi, bringing out statehood in 1959. At the same time, the lecture explains why Native Hawaiians remember different attacks (the 1893 overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom and the 1898 annexation by the United States) as being the real turning point in their history.