Edited by Ryan Tucker Jones, Ann Swindells Chair in History, and Angela Wanhalla, professor of history at the University of Otago in New Zealand
Whales and humans have shared a powerful and often difficult history over the past two centuries. Nowhere has this been truer than in the Pacific Ocean. In this ocean full of whales, colonial histories were built through whaling, science was transformed in its encounters with the creatures, and new Indigenous futures are being wrought in partnership with rebounding whale stocks. Across Species and Cultures: Whales, Humans, and Pacific Worlds is the first book to detail and integrate these histories, ranging widely around the ocean to pull together intertwined developments from Alaska to Aotearoa New Zealand, from Japan to Mexico, and in many places in between. The volume’s contributors are diverse, representing environmental history, Indigenous viewpoints, Japanese scholarship, and the perspectives of modern whale science. What all convey is whales’ power to shape human worlds in the Pacific and the surprising turns that humans’ connections with the creatures have taken.