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Editor's Message

Marc Jason Gilbert

     This past year has witnessed a general explosion of interest in the place of port cities in world history, from a television series on the subject produced by Channel News Asia, to books, such as The Competitiveness of Global Port Cities, prepared by the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development. It is a topic long of interest to World History Connected, which ran an article on classical port cities in the ancient world (No. 3, issue 2) designed to support teachers with images and maps on the subject. The February 2016 issue's Forum focuses on their role in early modern and modern world history through their promotion of cross-cultural encounters, as nodes of information and espionage, as the subject of cultural representations via European map-making, as colonial in a literal as well as figurative sense, as nodes of "hemispheric command," and gateway of global trade. The Forum is supplemented by WHC's digital resource editor's compendium of material available online for research into and the teaching of the global significance of port cities.

     The Articles section of this issue is one of the most diverse in recent memory with two excellent articles on important matters (coverage modeling and curricular reform), an analysis of a classroom experiment that turns what may seem to be exasperating student behavior into teachable moments. It closes with an article that rescues an early world historian from obscurity and secures his place in diplomatic history.

     Maritime studies figure in the Book Review Section, which offers insight into recent works on pirates and contraband, the cultural and intellectual bounty of world history to be found in shipwrecks, the power, glory and also shame in global trade, and a work on the leading architects of world history.

Marc Jason Gilbert, Editor
Hawai'i Pacific University

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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