University of Minnesota
Department of History

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David A Chang

Department of History 1143 HellerH 271 19th Ave S


I am an historian of race and ethnicity in Hawai'i and the United States, focusing especially on the histories of American Indian and Native Hawaiian people. My first book, The Color of the Land, argues for the central place of struggles over the ownership of Native American lands in the history of racial and national construction by Creeks, African Americans, and whites in the Creek Nation and eastern Oklahoma. The Color of the Land was awarded the 2010 Theodore Saloutos Prize for best book in agricultural history from the Agricultural History Society, was named a CHOICE Magazine Outstanding Academic Book Title for 2010, was granted Honorable Mention in the competition for the American Studies Association's 2011 Lora Romero First Book Prize; and was granted Honorable Mention in the competition for the Ethnohistory Association's Erminie Wheeler-Voegelin Book Prize.


  • American Indian history
  • Native Hawaiian history
  • race and nationalism
  • United States, Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century History
  • Comparative Indigenous History
  • United States Colonialism

Educational Background

  • Ph.D.: University of Wisconsin, Madison, 2002.


  • “Borderlands in a World at Sea: Concow Indians, Native Hawaiians, and South Chinese in Indigenous, Global, and National Space, 1860s-1880s,“ Journal of American History 98 (September 2011): 384-403.
  • The Color of the Land: Race, Nation, and the Politics of Land Ownership in Oklahoma, 1832-1929. (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2010).
  • "Enclosures of Land and Sovereignty: The Allotment of American Indian Lands.," Radical History Review 109 (2010).
  • “An Equal Interest in the Soil: Creek Small-Scale Farming and the Work of Nationhood, 1866-1889,“ American Indian Quarterly 33:1 (2008) 98-130
  • “Where Will the Nation be at Home?: Race, Nationalisms and Emigration Movements in the Creek Nation,“ Tiya Miles and Sharon P. Holland, eds., Crossing Waters, Crossing Worlds: The African Diaspora in Indian Country (Durham: Duke University Press, 2006), 100-120.
  • ““˜Primitive Christianity’ and “˜Modern Socialism’: The Agrarian Socialism of Thomas W. Woodrow,“ Thomas Summerhill, ed., Transatlantic Rebels: Agrarian Radicalism in Transatlantic Perspective (East Lansing, Michigan State University Press, 2004).

Research Activities

  • I am currently engaged in a long-range research project in Native Hawaiian history. This project, preliminarily entitled "Kaulana ka Po'e 'Imi Loa: Native Hawaiians and Global Geography in the Long Nineteenth Century," draws on the rich archive of Hawaiian-language sources to discover Hawaiians' perspectives on the nature of the nineteenth-century world and their place in it.

Professional Activities

  • Secretary: Native American and Indigenous Studies Association , June 2012 - June 2015


  • National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship, January 2014 - December 2014
  • Grant-in-Aid of Research, Artistry and Scholarship, 2012 - 2014
  • Faculty Residential Fellow, Institute of Advanced Study, University of Minnesota, September 2012 - December 2012
  • Grant-in-Aid of Research, University of Minnesota, 2003 - 2005

Courses Taught

  • Hist 1000/3000 - Visions of the Past: Twin Cities History
  • Hist 1302W - U.S. History: 1865 to Present
  • Hist 3821 - The United States in the 20th Century to 1945
  • Hist/AmIn 3871 - American Indian History to 1830
  • Hist 5910/Amst 5920 - Race, Colonialism, and the Politics of US History
  • Hist 5910/Hist 8910 - Engendering Race in American History
Alternative Output Formats Alternative Output Formats

Featured Faculty

  • Isaacmans Receive Top Honors for "Dams, Displacement, and the Delusion of Development"

    Congratulations to Professor Allen and Barbara Isaacman! Their book "Dams, Displacement, and the Delusion of Development: Cahora Bassa and Its Legacies in Mozambique, 1965-2007" has recently been honored with two major book awards: ASA's Melville Herskovits Award, and AHA's Martin A. Klein Prize.

    December 5th, 2014
  • American Indian History Lifetime Achievement Award to Jean O'Brien

    Professor Jeani O'Brien (history and American Indian studies) has been awarded the American Indian History Lifetime Achievement Award for 2014 by the Western History Association.

    December 4th, 2014
  • Jean O'Brien, 2014 Sara Evans Faculty Woman Scholar/Leader Award

    Jean O'Brien has been awarded this year's Sara Evans Faculty Woman Scholar/Leader Award. Jean O'Brien joins Erika Lee (2012) as the second historian to receive Sara Evans Faculty Woman Scholar/Leader Award. Congratulations, Jeani!

    August 31st, 2014

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