David Chang

David Aiona Chang is a Kanaka Maoli (Native Hawaiian) historian. Professor in the Department of History at the University of Minnesota (with affiliations with the Departments of American Indian Studies and American Studies), Chang is a historian of Indigenous people, colonialism, borders and migration in Hawaiʻi and North America, especially on the histories of Native American and Kanaka Maoli peoples. He is in an aloha ʻāina that stood with the protectors at Mauna Kea and supports the efforts of Native Hawaiian and Native American people to protect our homelands, home waters, and sovereignty.

Chang is the author of the award-winning book The Color of the Land: Race, Nation and the Politics of Landownership in Oklahoma, 1832-1929 (2010), which brings the histories of Creek Indians, African Americans and whites in Oklahoma together into one story over the struggles of land. He is also an author of another award-winning book The World and All Things Upon It: Native Hawaiian Geographies of Exploration (2016), which traces how Kānaka Maoli (Native Hawaiians) explored the outside world and generated their own understandings of it in the century after James Cook’s arrival in 1778. The book examines Indigenous peoples as active agents, rather than passive objects, of global exploration.

Chang is currently working in collaboration with the Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians on a history of their community. The outcome will be both a history and archive for community use and also a book for public and academic use, tentatively entitled Love, Death, and Rivers: The Politics of History in Indigenous California. This public-facing book will both trace the history of the SSBMI and their Ancestors and speak to the politics of the practice of Indigenous history. By contrasting the way outsiders have used SSBMI history for their own purposes with how SSBMI members have preserved and told their history in the defense of their sovereignty and peoplehood, the book will reflect on the colonial practice and decolonial possibilities of Indigenous history. Chang sits on the board of the University of Minnesota Press and is the former secretary of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA). 

Contact Information:

• dchang@umn.edu • 612-624-9045

Select Recent Works:

Chang, David A. “Critical Indigenous Methodology and the Problems of History: Love and Death beyond Boundaries in Victorian British Columbia” in Brendan Hokowhitu, Aileen Moreton-Robinson, Linda Tuhiwai-Smith et al., eds. Routledge Handbook of Critical Indigenous Studies, 2021.

Chang, David A. “Where is Hawaiʻi? Hawaiian Diaspora and Kuleana” in Hokulani Aikau and Vernadette Gonzalez, eds. Detours: A Decolonial Guidebook to Hawaiʻi, 2019.

Chang, David A. “Transcending Settler Colonial Boundaries with Moʻokūʻauhau: Genealogy as Transgressive Methodology” in Nālani Wilson Hokuwhitu, ed. The Past before Us: Mo’okū’auhau as Methodology. Honolulu: University of Hawaiʻi Press, 2019.

Chang, David A. “The Good Written Word of Life: The Native Hawaiian Appropriation of Textuality.” William and Mary Quarterly 75, no. 2 (2018): 237–58.

Chang, David A. The World and All the Things upon It: Native Hawaiian Geographies of Exploration. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2016.

Chang, David A. “‘We Will Be Comparable to the Indian Peoples’: Recognizing Likeness between Native Hawaiians and American Indians, 1834-1923.” American Quarterly 67, no. 3 (2015): 859–86.

Chang, David A. “Borderlands in a World at Sea: Concow Indians, Native Hawaiians, and South Chinese in Indigenous, Global, and National Space, 1860s-1880s.” Journal of American History 98, no. 2 (2011): 384–403.

Chang, David A. The Color of the Land: Race, Nation, and the Politics of Land Ownership in Oklahoma, 1832-1929. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2010.

Chang, David A. “Enclosures of Land and Sovereignty: The Allotment of American Indian Lands.” Radical History Review 109 (2010).