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Paul T. Burlin, Ph.D.

Professor of History


Biddeford Campus
On campus

Professor Burlin's specialty is 19th-century American diplomatic history. He has published a number of articles in this area and has completed a book titled Imperial Maine and Hawai'i: Interpretative Essays in the History of Nineteenth Century American Expansion  that traces connections between Maine and Hawai'i as a way to explore large issues related to American imperialism in the 19th century. He also has an interest in the perceptions and insights "foreigners" have about U.S. history, culture and society. He is particularly interested in Brazilian observations about the United States. In addition, he has an interest in questions dealing with contemporary American culture.



Rutgers University
Heidelberg College


Current research

19th century American missisonaries to Hawai'i

Selected publications


The Role of the American Board in the World: Bicentennial Reflections on the Organization’s Missionary Work 1810-2010, WIPH and Stock Publishers, 2012.

Imperial Maine and Hawai'i: Interpretive Essays in the History of 19th Century American Expansion (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2006).

Selected Articles

“James G. Blaine’s Effort to Have John L. Stevens Appointed Minister to Hawai’i in 1869,” (forthcoming Maine History).

“The US Quest for a Global Pax Americana: Myths and Realities,” in Visions of the Future in Germany and America, Eds. Norbert  Finzsch & Hermann Wellenreuther (Oxford: Berg, 2001):109-142.

"Harold Marsh Sewall and the Truculent Pursuit of Empire:  Samoa, 1887-1890," Maine History (39:2) Summer, 2000.

"Christopher Lasch: uma critica · crença americana em relação ao progresso," Vivéncia, January, 1998, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte, Natal, Brazil.

Media Publications

“Empire without End,” Maine Sunday Telegram, October 20, 2002.

“The Drumbeat of War,” Maine Sunday Telegram, October 24, 2004.

"Reflections on the American Election of 2004,” Tingis, December 2004.


Invited plenary presentation

“Imperial Maine,” Kennebec Historical Society, Augusta,, ME, May 19, 2004.

“Elisa Bond in Hawai’i, 1841-1896,” American Historical Association, Pacific Coast Branch, San Jose, CA, August 6, 2004.

“Luther Severance in Hawai’i,” Southwestern Social Science Association,  New Orleans, LA, March 24, 2005.

Respondent,  Second Annual College of Arts and Sciences/Environmental Studies Symposium,” Westbrook College Campus, Portland, Maine, April 10, 2006.

Maine Public Radio,  Maine Things Considered,  Imperial Maine and Hawai’i. (interview)

“Empire and the American Way of Life,” College of Arts & Sciences’ Core Connection Address, September 20, 2006.

“Imperial Maine and Hawai’i”  invited lecture, Maine Historical Society, Portland ,Maine, October 31, 2006.

“Missionary Dilemmas,” Organization of American Historians Annual Conference, Minneapolis, MN, April 1. 2007.

“Dissent within the Hawaiian Missionary Community,” Pacific World & American West Conference, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, February 8, 2008.

“Internal Missionary Community Controversies in Hawai’i, 1820-1845,” New England Historical Association, University of Southern Maine, Portland, Maine, April 18, 2009.

“The United States in the Twenty-First Century: Republic of Empire,” Center for Global Humanities, University of New England, March 29, 2010.

“The Salary Controversy Among Early 19th Century Missionaries to Hawai’i,” Congregational Library, Boston, Massachusetts, September 25, 2010.

“Internal Missionary Controversies in Hawai’i,’ PCB-AHA Conference, San Diego, CA, August 12, 2012

“Pay or Communalism,” NEHA Conference, October 13, 2012.

“O Segundo Mandato de Obama,” invited lecture, Universidade do Rio Grande do Norte, June 3, 2013.

Research interests

US foreign policy

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