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Editor's Message

Marc Jason Gilbert


     "Travelers and Traveler's Accounts in World History" are the subjects of World History Connected's February 2013 Forum section, in which leading scholars of travel-related historical literature, both global and regional, such as Michael Fisher, offer fresh research and also examine the pedagogical dimensions of these subjects in what is the first of two projected issues on this topic. Guest editor Mary Jane Maxwell provides an introduction to this selection of articles, further enhancing its value for practitioners of world history at all levels of instruction.

     The February issue will introduce a new feature of World History Connected, the Mini-Forum, which will pair essays with a common interest. The initial Mini-Forum addresses research and teaching controversial issues such as the American War in Vietnam by Jeffrey Race (author of the groundbreaking War Comes to Long An). Also, Zack Farmer explores the content and impact of the apartheid-era film The Gods Must Be Crazy in ways which provide both the depth of context and analytical paths of the sort that users must explore when using this or any controversial film.

     The essays in the Articles section range from a fresh, as well as inspiring, exploration of using maps in the world history classroom to a study of the concept of a developing identity as revealed by a study of iconic representations in Hong Kong.

     Book reviews include two seminal works on empires, gender and a new textbook, Valerie Hansen and Kenneth R. Curtis' Voyages in World History (2012) that all, in ways appropriate to this issue's Forum, employ travel accounts to illuminate world history.

     The editor would like to devote a moment to consider how this new text and two other works under review are related to the Forum in ways that might have some personal as well as professional significance to many in the field and why the February 2013 issue of World History Connected is dedicated to Jerry H. Bentley, a pioneer in the very area of world history this issue seeks to explore. Bentley was a Professor of History at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, who passed away July 15, 2012 at age 62 in Honolulu.

     In this issue, Jon Davidann reviews Jerry H. Bentley's edited work, The Oxford Handbook of World History (2011), and Heather Streets reviews Jon Davidann and this editor's own new book, Cross-Cultural Encounters in Modern World History (2013). Readers of these reviews will learn that Cross-Cultural Encounters in Modern World History was designed to serve as a sequel to Jerry Bentley's Old World Encounters: Cross-Cultural Contacts and Exchanges in Pre-Modem Times (1993), a task Jerry long ago decided not to take on himself and heartily approved Jon and my effort to do so. They also should know that Heather Streets-Salter is the author of the Brief Edition of Jerry Bentley and Herb Zeigler's well-established world history survey text, Traditions and Encounters. As these reviews and the publications themselves may suggest, Jon, Heather, and I owe much to Jerry's encouragement and support over the years. His passing last summer was the sad occasion of much celebration of his life and work. Among his works is a seminal essay on the significance of travel narratives to the historical profession, in which he reminded us that "In a way, all historical thinking and all historical writing deal with travel accounts." It is thus appropriate that this number of World History Connected is dedicated to his memory.

Marc Jason Gilbert, Editor

Marc Jason Gilbert is Professor of History and National Endowment for the Humanities Endowed Chair in World History at Hawai'i Pacific University. He can be reached at


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