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Editor's Message

Marc Jason Gilbert

     The Philippines in World History is the subject of the Forum section of the October 2017 issue of World History Connected, but its title conceals what the articles make manifest, which is the need for discourse on the marginalization of "small" societies in the pursuit of grand narratives. Without such discourse, practitioners of world history will be less likely to exploit the dynamic research and pedagogical opportunities that arise from the best "the macro in the micro" studies that both valorize human agency (which has been found wanting in grand narratives) and avoid the parochialism common in national histories. These articles seek to promote that balance in their effort to: contribute to our understanding of the many peoples and religions that spread to or were influenced by that archipelago; measure the impact in Asia of the modern technological changes that transformed global maritime trade; provide greater insight into the place of overseas Chinese in the shaping of Philippine history; and identify the more fluid conception of gender relations in the region, while also advancing our understanding of the place of the Philippines in the global pattern of anti-colonial resistance. What emerges from these studies is a vision of Philippine history that is richer in local, as well as global significance. Those interested in the history of the people of the Philippines will be delighted find in these articles that world historians, who have long addressed the famous Manila-Acapulco Galleon trade as a key episode in the growth of a global economy, are increasingly comfortable extending their study of that trade to include the Filipinos themselves, who crewed those galleons as they crewed much of the merchant marine personnel of Asia. They will also find that historians from many fields and disciplines are examining those crew members who left ship in Mexico, forging a link between their islands and the Americas that continues to this day. Moreover, readers interested in macro-political change will be asked to consider that the populist nature of the politics of the current President of the Philippines bears examination in the context of the contemporary global trend toward authoritarian regimes.

     The Articles section also includes a study of the imperial borderlands between early twentieth-century Russia and China, where contact between two vastly different cultures influenced both foreign and self-identification.

     Forthcoming issues of World History Connected beyond its February issue hopes to feature Forums/articles on Vikings in World History, the Atlantic World and Graphic literature and World History. World History Connected seeks submissions in research, in pedagogy, and those combining the two that promote reasoned discourse about the local, the global and the "glocal" in world history.

     Readers may be interested to know that this journal has 1.85 million readers of more than two articles and more than 3 million visitors to its website.

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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