David Bruce Igler

Picture of David Bruce Igler
Professor, History
School of Humanities
Ph.D., U.C. Berkeley, 1996, History
Phone: (949) 824-2966
Email: digler@uci.edu
University of California, Irvine
449 Krieger Hall
Mail Code: 3275
Irvine, CA 92697
Research Interests
History of American West, Pacific Worlds, California, Environmental
Research Abstract
I began my academic career as a U.S. historian specializing in the American West and environmental history. After publishing my first book (Industrial Cowboys: Miller & Lux and the Transformation of the Far West, 1850-1920) I decided to explore the waterscape and regions west of the West: the Pacific Ocean. This research has consumed me for the past two decades. I am especially interested in the time period between the 1770s and the 1850s, and the geographic connections between the island Pacific, East Asia, the northern Pacific, and the western Americas. It entails a vast oceanic and peopled space, as described in my recent book The Great Ocean: Pacific Worlds from Captain Cook to the Gold Rush (Oxford University Press, 2013). The book draws on hundreds of documented voyages—some painstakingly recorded by participants, some only known by archeological remains or indigenous memory—as a window into the commercial, cultural, and ecological upheavals following the initial contact period. I remain fascinated by the environmental and cultural history of the Pacific, as well as the rapidly developing fields encompassed by Pacific Studies. My current book manuscript examines the scientific and artistic productions from a Russian exploration in the early 1800s.
Please visit my Amazon author page for more information on this book and other publications: http://www.amazon.com/author/igler_greatocean.

At UCI I teach courses on the American West, environmental history, Pacific history, and US colonial history.
“Trading Nature in the Pacific: Ecological Exchange Prior to 1900,” in Cambridge History of the Pacific Ocean, Vol. II: The Pacific Ocean Since 1800, eds. Paul D’Arcy, Anne Perez-Hattori, and Jane Samson. Cambridge University Press, 2023, 369-388.
“The Questions They Asked: Joseph Banks and Naturalists in the Pacific,” Journal of Maritime Research 21 (Jan. 2020): 1-14. https://doi.org/10.1080/21533369.2019.1705574
“Indigenous Travelers and Knowledge Production in the Pacific: The Case of Kadu and Ludwig Choris,” History Compass 15 (December 2017): 1-16.
“San Francisco to Unalaska: Travels and Routes to Pacific History,” Alaska History 32 (Spring 2017): 44-57.
“Hardly ‘Pacific’: Violence and Death in the Great Ocean,” Pacific Historical Review (Winter 2015): 1-19.
“Exploring the Concept of Empire in Pacific History: Individuals, Nations, and Oceanic Space prior to 1850,” History Compass (2014) http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/hic3.12199/abstract
“A California History ‘No Longer Local,’” California History 91 (Winter 2014): 10-15.
“On Vital Areas, Categories, and New Opportunities,” Journal of American History 100 (June 2013): 119-123.
» “The Great Ocean: Pacific Worlds from Captain Cook to the Gold Rush.” Oxford University Press, 2013.

» “Industrial Cowboys: Miller & Lux and the Transformation of the Far West, 1850-1920.” University of California Press, 2001.

» “A Companion to California History.” Co-edited with William Deverell. Wiley-Blackwell, 2008.

» “The Human Tradition in California.” Co-edited with Clark Davis. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2002.

» "On Coral Reefs, Volcanoes, Gods, and Patriotic Geology: Or, James Dwight Dana Assembles the Pacific Basin," Pacific Historical Quarterly 79 (Feb. 2010): 23-49.
» "The Northeastern Pacific Basin: An Environmental Approach to Seascapes and Littoral Places," in Douglas Sackman, ed., A Companion to American Environmental History (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010): 579-594.

» "Captive Taking and Conventions of Encounters on the Northwest Coast, 1789-1810," Southern California Quarterly 91 (Spring 2009): 2-25.

» "Alta California, the Pacific, and International Commerce Before the Gold Rush," in Deverell and Igler, eds., Companion to California History (Wiley-Blackwell, 2008): 116-126.

» "Re-Orienting Asian American History Through Transnational and International Scales," Pacific Historical Review 76 (Nov. 2007): 611-614.

» "Longitudes and Latitudes: Useful Coordinates for Environmental History," Environmental History 10 (Jan. 2005): 82-84.

» "Malaspina off and on the American Northwest Coast the nature of the things he carried"
in Commonplace (January 2005)

» “Diseased Goods: Global Exchanges in the Eastern Pacific Basin, 1770-1850,” American Historical Review 109 (June 2004): 693-719.

» “Engineering the Elephant: Industrialization and the Environment in the American West,” in William Deverell, ed., The Blackwell Companion to the American West. Blackwell, 2004.

» “The Industrial Far West: Region and Nation in the Late Nineteenth Century,” Pacific Historical Review 69 (May 2000): 159-192.

» “The Abattoir of the Prairie,” Rethinking History 4 (Fall 1999): 321-323. (With William Deverell) Reprinted in Experiments in Rethinking History (Routledge, 2004).

» "When Is a River Not a River? Or, Reclaiming Nature's Disorder in Lux v. Haggin,"
Environmental History 1 (April 1996): 52-70. Excerpted in Carolyn Merchant, ed., Green vs. Gold: California's Environmental History (Washington: Island Books, 1998), 239-245.

» "Industrial Cowboys: Corporate Ranching in Late Nineteenth-Century California," Agricultural History 69 (Spring 1995): 201-213.
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