Eric Oakley

Eric Oakley. Photo credit: Ellen Giamportone.
Eric Oakley, Ph.D.
Senior Lecturer of History
Coordinator of Part-Time Faculty in World History
President, Southeast World History Association
Eric Oakley joined the Department of History and Philosophy in 2018. His research interests concern the environmental and ethnohistorical impact of U.S. maritime activities in the Pacific World during the long nineteenth century. His current research focuses on the cultural history of imperialism in the Pacific during the Early American Republic. Oakley teaches courses in Early America, Modern America, Modern World History, and Historical Methods.
  • Visiting Fellow Programme (University of Jyväskylä, 2022)
  • Distinguished Honors Faculty Award (Kennesaw State University, 2021-2022)
  • Outstanding Dissertation Award (UNC-Greensboro Department of History, 2017)
  • College of Arts and Sciences Graduate Teaching Award (UNC-Greensboro, 2014)
  • Excellence Fellowship (UNC-Greensboro, 2009)

"A Common Denominator: The Materiality of Information in the Pacific China Trade, 1785-1825" in The Materiality of Sino-Foreign Maritime Cultural Exchange, eds. Sarah Ward, Veronica Walker-Vadillo, and Liu Yingchun (Centre for Maritime History and Culture Research, Dalian Maritime University). Forthcoming, 2022.

"Ships--A Target of Indigenous Resistance in the Pacific." World History Bulletin 37, No. 2, Special Issue: Resistance in World History--500 Years Since the Fall of Tenochtitlán (Fall/Winter 2021)

"'Very Dull & No Business Doing': A Reassessment of the American Sandalwood Trade Between Hawaii and China, 1790-1832." Configurações 26 (December 2020)



Review of David L. Nicandri, Captain Cook Rediscovered: Voyaging to the Icy Latitudes (Vancouver, BC: University of British Columbia Press, 2020), Pacific Northwest Quarterly 112:2 (Spring 2022)

Review of James K. Barnett, ed., Captain Cook’s Final Voyage: The Untold Story from the Journals of James Burney and Henry Roberts (Pullman, WA: Washington State University Press, 2018), Pacific Northwest Quarterly, 110:1 (Winter 2018/2019)

Review of Charles R. Menzies, People of the Saltwater: An Ethnography of Git Lax M’oon (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2016), Pacific Northwest Quarterly, 107:3 (Summer 2016)

Review of Jeff Oliver, Landscapes and Social Transformations on the Northwest Coast (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2010), Ethnohistory, 58:2 (Spring 2011)

Review of Kay Atwood, Chaining Oregon: Surveying the Public Lands of the Pacific Northwest, 1851-1855 (Newark, OH: McDonald & Woodward, 2008), Terrae Incognitae: The Journal for the History of Discoveries, 42:1 (September 2010)



"Triangulating on Trade: Digital Methods and the Improvement of Sources in Maritime History," Baltic Connections Conference (University of Jyväskylä, June 2022)

"The Baubles of Boston: The Throughput of an Evolving Empire in the Pacific," Economic History Seminar (University of Jyväskylä, June 2022)

"Dividing the Great Ocean: The Development of Commercial Spheres in the Imperial Pacific, 1785-1825," 45th Economic and Business History Society Conference (EBHS Virtual Conference, May 2021)

"The Rise and Fall of the American Sandalwood Trade, 1790-1832," 15th Southeast World History Association Conference (SEWHA Virtual Conference, October 2020)

"These Beautiful Isles: Islands as Commercial Outposts in the Age of Sail," 44th Economic and Business History Society Conference (Detroit MI, June 2019)

"Boston: America’s First Pacific Port," GSU Spring Conference on Global and Economic History (Georgia State University, April 2019)

"Rage for War: The Pacific Fur Trade, Imperial Rivalries, and America’s First Foreign Policy Crisis, 1789-90," 9th Appalachian Spring Conference in Economics and History (Appalachian State University, April 2014)



"Great Khan: Simulating Mongol History in the Classroom," 2nd Kennesaw World History Workshop (Kennesaw State University, October 2021)

"Sindbad's Way: Simulating Indian Ocean History in the Classroom," 1st Kennesaw World History Workshop (Kennesaw State University, February 2020)

"Bringing the World Alive--A Simulation Workshop in World History," 14th Southeast World History Association Conference (Athens GA, November 2019)

"The World at Our Fingertips: Modeling World History through Shared Digital Media," 13th Southeast World History Association Conference (Maryville College, November 2018)

"Simulation Laboratory: Tools, Text, and Technique," North Carolina Association for the Gifted and Talented Annual Conference (Winston-Salem NC, March 2015)



Keynote Speech: "Looking Backward to the Great War," Hidden Histories, North Carolina and World War I Teaching Scholars, Statewide Conference, North Carolina Museum of History (Raleigh NC, August 2017)

"Simulation Laboratory: Tools, Text, Technique," Duke Program in Education (Duke University, 2016-2022)

"Plundering the Spanish Lake: Francis Drake’s Odyssey in the Pacific," UNCG History Society Spring Panel (UNC-Greensboro, 2018)

"Natural History, Melville, and the Pacific World," Scuppernong Books "Year of Melville" Lecture (Greensboro NC, April 2015)

"Ostländer: Imperial Germany and Chinese Radicals," UNCG History Society Spring Panel (UNC-Greensboro, 2013)