3rd Marianas History Conference

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Milestones, in more fluid or abstract terms, can also refer to significant points, physical or otherwise, that mark the progress, development, or transformation of something. In this sense, there are limitless possibilities as to what constitutes a milestone. In the broader scope of Marianas History, there have been many milestones crossed. This Marianas History Conference has become one venue at which we might reach and even surpass existing milestones, as well as discover new directions and goals toward which we might work in the interest of reclaiming our pasts. The contributions that follow show much promise in our collective mission of reaching important milestones in Marianas History. They are richly diverse and draw from a wealth of topics, themes, methods, approaches, and perspectives. They span vast expanses of time, from the ancient period many thousands of years ago to our present day. Some challenge more traditional concepts of time in a chronological sense, and demonstrate instead the value of making more fluid and multidirectional connections between seemingly linear epochs of the past and realities that emerge in the present. The contributions that follow are situated in a healthy range of disciplinary traditions to include the sciences, the arts, military history, gender studies, cultural ecology, political studies, and more. They provoke critical engagement with a diverse range of historical sources, from the empirical to the symbolic, the archival to the ethnographic. The diversity that follows is a testament to the richness of Marianas history and the immeasurable potential for new milestones to emerge and to which we might aspire to cross. Indeed, we have much to be proud of in the efforts of the people of the Mariana Islands and those with a commitment to perpetuating its pasts. Yet, let us not forget that in reaching milestones, we have and will continue to stumble along the way. Those missteps warrant our critical reflection and debate. But we should not allow our debates, disagreements, and divisions hinder us in our growth toward deeper and more intimate knowledge of the past. Let us instead keep our sights on the potential to turn them into productive strides toward many milestones ahead, milestones that will guide us in reclaiming, taking ownership of, and perpetuating our rich and unique pasts. The 3rd Marianas History Conference and those that will follow serve as but one vein through which this resolve might pulse and thrive. Congratulations to the conference planning committee, sponsors, and participants on facing the challenges presented to you in executing this third installment of your annual endeavor. Biba Marianas History! 

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