Marc Gilbert PH.D.

College of Liberal Arts - Department of History, Humanities, and International Studies

Emeritus Professor of History
NEH Endowed Chair of World History


Marc Jason Gilbert received a Ph.D in History from UCLA and for many years thereafter was Professor of History and co-Director of programs in South and Southeast Asia in the University System of Georgia, which conferred upon him the title of Distinguished Professor in 1998. During that time, he received American Institute for Indian Studies and Fulbright (seminar) awards, and was elected to the first Executive Council of the American Institute of Afghanistan Studies. From 2006 to 2019, he was the holder of the National Endowment for the Humanities-supported Endowed Chair in World History at Hawai’i Pacific University, where he founded the World History Association of Hawaii (2007 to present). He was appointed the Editor of the e-journal World History Connected, published by the George Mason University Press, with editorial offices at Hawaii Pacific University (2008 to present) and was elected President of the World History Association (2012-2014).

From the outset of his career, Gilbert has sought to bring a global dimension to South and Southeast Asian history in numerous papers, articles, chapters in books, books, and monographs, many of which are part of the cannon in several history sub-disciplines.  Major works written when at HPU  include South Asia in World History (2017); World Civilizations: The Global Experience, with Peter N. Stearns, Michael Adas and Stuart Schwartz, now in its 8th edition (2021); and Cross-Cultural Encounters in Modern World History, with Jon Davidann (Second edition, 2019). His most recent publication marries his previous writings on the global dimensions of the American War in Indochina with Hawaii’s own experience of that conflict, which stimulated the rise of the Hawaiian Sovereignty Movement (“The View from the Hill: Hawaii’s Congressional Delegation and the Struggle for Peace in Vietnam and Equity at Home, 1964-1975,” in Fredrik Logevall and Brian Cuddy (eds),  The Vietnam War and the Pacific World (Chapel Hill, N.C.: University of North Carolina Press, 2022).

Prior to coming  to Hawaii Pacific University, Gilbert shared with others the role of being a “Johnny Appleseed,” in terms of spreading research and teaching world history, which began with his conducting the first teaching workshop in world history held at the American Historical Association. He later served as co-leader of the two southern regional National Endowment for the Humanities/College Board teaching workshops designed to assist teachers in preparing for the Advancement Examination in World History, which he regularly served as a “Reader” (examiner), as well as co-authoring its first resource guide.   

At Hawaii Pacific University,  he wrote and received grants to conduct several teacher-training workshops in world history for Hawaii teachers. These featured speakers from the mainland and were supported by Professor Jon Davidann. Both he and Professor Davidann assisted in two revisions of  the Hawaii Department of Education’s world history standards. From 2009 onward, at the invitation of their governments, Gilbert organized international world history conferences in Cambodia, China, and Vietnam, all including teaching workshops, which he supplemented by similar  activities in Turkey and Morocco, and at universities and academic meetings in the United States.

Gilbert retired from full time teaching in 2019 to participate in the creation of  State-to-State relationship between Hawaii and the Indian State of Goa on the Indian Ocean, centered on creating cultural, political, educational, and economic exchange. The two states have powerful common interests, ranging from oceanography to maritime strategic affairs to shared Portuguese influences. This project appealed to HPU, and its initial empowering Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed by Governor Ige with Gilbert in attendance. He returned from successful advance planning meetings in Goa just ahead of the COVID-19  epidemic, and is currently awaiting its resumption, as Goa has approved of an extension of that MOU, which now before India’s Foreign Ministry for final approval. 

While shepherding  the Hawaii-Goa relationship towards its post-Covid-19 revival, Gilbert remains engaged in campus activities, such as  occasional adjunct teaching,  lending financial support to prizes for student scholarship, giving historic tours of downtown Honolulu for entering students, and playing in the occasional Faculty-Staff basketball contest as half-time entertainment at  Varsity games,  which, he says, he  intends to do, “for as long as his knees will allow.” He can always be reached at

Marc Gilbert

Emeritus Professor

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