Welcome to the UH Hilo History Department

The History Department at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo provides students with an understanding of the past and its application to the present. The curriculum leading to the degree of Bachelor of Arts in History is designed to develop broad historical knowledge, global understanding, and important skills in data analysis and communication crucial in many professional fields.

Learn more about the History Department.

History News

Updates to the History Department Lounge

UCB 333 has recently undergone changes and updates. On September 21st and 22nd, history club students painted and rearranged the department lounge. In addition to receiving a paint job, the lounge in now equipped with new tables, the shelving has been reorganized, and a new printer has been put in. If you need a book for research, would like to scan a library book, or just need a place to study please visit the newly updated lounge.

A group of UH Hilo students at an overlook in Kalaupapa, Molokai

UH Hilo History Students Travel to Kalaupapa

In early November, a group of students studying history at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo traveled to Kalaupapa, a historical community on Molokai where patients with Hansen’s disease, also known as leprosy, were quarantined at the peninsula over a 103 year period. Please read the full article to learn more about their service learning trip by visiting the UH Hilo Stories webpage.

Alika Guerrero

Students Awarded History Writing Prizes

Senior history student, Alexander “Alika” Guerrero, took home this year’s "Outstanding Student Writing Award" (and $100) at this year’s senior symposium for his senior thesis “He Kū‘auhau: The Historiography of Samuel Mānaiakalani Kamakau.”

Other writing awards in the program’s focus areas -- with $50 awards -- went to the following students:

2016 Senior Symposium PDF

Annual History Senior Symposium

The annual History Senior Symposium (PDF) marks the culmination of our history majors' journey toward graduation. The seniors enrolled in this course have spent at least a year immersed in the research for their senior thesis paper -- a 30+ page paper meant to draw upon their preparatory course work in their focus area and methods courses, as they apply their skills in research, analysis, and communication (written and verbal) of an historical topic of their choosing. The formal senior thesis journey begins in the fall semester in "HIST 490 Historiography & Resrch Mthds (3) ", and then culminates in the spring semester in "HIST 491 Senior Thesis (3) " -- leading to the symposium.

A variety of topics are presented each year. This is a result of our students being able to focus their history degree on one of five regional areas: E. Asia, Europe, Hawaiʻi, Pacific, or U.S.

When & Where: Thursday, May 5th, 8:30-3:00pm, UCB 115. The symposium is open to all.

Damien Center

Prof. Kerri A. Inglis invited to speak at Damien Center in Belgium

Associate Professor, Kerri A. Inglis , was invited to speak on the history of Hansenʻs Disease in Hawaiʻi at the Damien Center in Leuven, Belgium. Inglis visited the crypt where Damien is buried in Leuven, his birthplace in Ninde, and where he was baptized in Tremalo, before delivering her presentation "Maʻi Hoʻokaʻawale ʻOhana--the disease that separates family."

Kalaupapa Trip Fall 2015

History Students participate in service-learning trip to Kalaupapa

Nine students accompanied Prof. Kerri A. Inglis on an annual service-learning trip to Kalaupapa, Molokai, in early November. The students gained direct knowledge of the history of Hansenʻs disease in Hawaiʻi and the role of isolation in that history. Additionally, they learned of the wahi pana (sacred, storied places) and oral traditions of the peninsula, while they helped remove invasive species and cleaned cemeteries, cleaned settlement structures, and helped remove trash from beach areas.

Students show exhibit at UH Hilo library

Hawaiian history exhibit featured at UH Hilo library

In Fall 2014, Prof. Kerri Inglis’s public history in Hawaiʻi class spent their semester visiting, researching, and producing materials related to wahi pana (storied, sacred places) of Hawaiʻi island. Their efforts culminated in the exhibit “Wahi Pana O Hawaiʻi... every place has a story” at Moʻokini Library in December 2014. The exhibit was invited back and is expected to remain through the Fall 2015 semester. Congratulations to our students: Cletus Correia, ʻAlika Guerrero, Ciera Pagud, Kehani Tejada, Sarah Steinbrecher, and Karly Watts.

Michael Bitter

Prof. Michael Bitter publishes paper on Russia’s history

Due out in the summer of 2015, Associate Professor Michael Bitter’s article, “Ministers and Favorites in the 1730s: An Analysis of the Dynamic Relationship Between Osterman and Biron Through the Eyes of Foreign Diplomats,” was selected for publication in a book of a collection of articles on Russia’s eighteenth century.

Evan Matsuyama

UH Hilo History graduate Evan Matsuyama accepted to Oxford

In April 2015, UH Hilo History graduate Evan Matsuyama received an acceptance letter into the prestigious Master of Arts in History program University of Oxford, England. While majoring in History at UH Hilo, Matsuyama earned a 4.0 GPA, was president of the History Club, a member of Phi Alpha Theta, and was selected the student speaker for the Fall 2014 Commencement. Congratulations Evan!

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