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World History and the Tasman Sea

Summary

This lecture is supported by the Oceanic Cultures and Connections Research Cluster and the Marine, Antarctic and Maritime Research Theme

Start Date

26th Sep 2018 5:30pm

End Date

26th Sep 2018 6:30pm

Venue

Aurora Lecture Theatre, Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies
20 Castray Esplanade, Battery Point


Watch the presentation

Professor Alison Bashford

Did Polynesians navigate to the Australian continent in pre-colonial eras?

The consensus is currently no. This lecture does not so much ask ‘why’ – though that interesting question is surprisingly rarely posed. Instead, this lecture explores the significance of the Tasman Sea for world history that is increasingly interested in deep temporal scales and ancient sea crossings.

Either side of the Tasman Sea, almost incommensurably different periodisations of human history unfolded. While the Aboriginal past is tens of thousands of years old, the human history of New Zealand/Aotearoa is very recent; the final westward journeys of the Polynesians took place c. 1200-1300CE.

This Tasman divide is one of the more extraordinary fault-lines of world history, an almost unique global region in which humans with entirely different histories were adjacent geographically. In the recent integration of Pacific history into world history, what is the place of the Tasman Sea?


Alison Bashford
Alison Bashford, University of New South Wales

Alison Bashford is Research Professor at the University of New South Wales, Sydney. Between 2013 & 2017 she was Vere Harmsworth Professor of Imperial and Naval History at the University of Cambridge, and Fellow of Jesus College, Cambridge. She has written extensively on the global history of maritime quarantine, and has recently co-edited Pacific Histories (with David Armitage) and Oceanic Histories (with David Armitage and Sujit Sivasundaram). She is founding co-editor of the Cambridge University Press book series, Cambridge Oceanic Histories. She has recently served on the Board of Trustees of Royal Museums Greenwich, including the National Maritime Museum and the Royal Observatory


This workshop is supported by the Oceanic Cultures and Connections Research Cluster and the Marine, Antarctic and Maritime Research Theme.

Public Lecture: World History and the Tasman Sea | Prof Alison Bashford, YouTube video
Public Lecture: World History and the Tasman Sea | Prof Alison Bashford