Conference Program: The Atlantic World in a Pacific Field

Sawyer logo

Thursday 5 August

Opening Plenary Lecture

Copresented with Sydney Ideas


6.30pm-8.00pm, Everest Theatre, The Seymour Centre

Chaired by Iain McCalman

Simon Schaffer
In transit: European cosmologies in the Pacific

Astronomical interests prompted a series of entries by European travellers into the Pacific. In studies of the complex motives and effects of these expeditions, it has been common to treat astronomical interests either as rationales for more profound political and economic enterprise, or as of a strictly utilitarian character. Here the aim is to understand the cosmologies on which certain forms of European astronomy depended, and how the Pacific encounters changed and reoriented their meanings. These cosmologies embraced models of the globe and of its populations, and were very much in question in the patterns of interaction between Pacific
peoples and other experts.


Simon Schaffer is professor of history of science at the University of Cambridge. He recently co-edited 'The mindful hand: inquiry and invention from the late Renaissance to early industrialisation' (2007) and 'The brokered world: go-betweens and global intelligence 1770-1820' (2009). He holds a Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship to study the history of astronomy and British colonialism. He is principal investigator on a project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council to write a history of the Board of Longitude 1714-1828.


The lecture is included in the conference registration but is open to the public. Bookings for the lecture only are taken by Sydney Ideas. For more information, please visit the Sydney Ideas website.

Friday 6 August

Sydney Law School foyer, Eastern Avenue, Camperdown Campus.
9.00am-4.30pm

8.45-9.15 Registration

9.15-9.30 Welcome
Iain McCalman

9.30-10.30 Plenary Paper
CHAIR: JUDE PHILP
Anita Herle, Creating the Anthropological Field in the Pacific

10.30-11.00 Morning tea

11.00-12.40 Session 1: Comparing Ethnographies
CHAIR: ROBERT ALDRICH
Sheila Fitzpatrick, Nikolai Miklouho-Maclay: In His Own Words
Elena Govor, Nicholas Maclay: Old and new myths
Iain McCalman, White Savages? British and French ethnographic encounters with two nineteenth-century North Australian castaways

12.40-1.30 Lunch

1.30-3.10 Session 2: Atlantic Science in the Antipodes
CHAIR: WARWICK ANDERSON
Alison Bashford, Karl Haushofer's 'Geopolitics of the Pacific Ocean'
Jorge Cañizares Esguerra, From Lima to Australia: Biblical Knowledge and the Antipodes in the Viceroyalty of Peru, ca 1600
Damon Salesa, Medical Spaces and Imperial Encounters in Samoa and the Pacific

3.10-3.30 Tea break

3.30-4.30 Plenary Paper
CHAIR: ALISON BASHFORD
Janet Browne, Corresponding Naturalists

7pm Conference dinner at Rubyos Restaurant, 18-20 King Street, Newtown.

Saturday 7 August

Sydney Law School foyer, Eastern Avenue, Camperdown Campus.
10.00am-4.30pm

10.00-11.40 Session 3: Comparing Indigenous Experience
CHAIR: KATE FULLAGAR
Michael McDonnell, Facing Empire: Indigenous Histories in Comparative Perspective
Katerina Teaiwa, Between Oceans: Popular Kinship and the ACP
Ann Curthoys, Comparative indigenous politics in Australia

11.40-12.30 Brunch

12.30-1.30 Plenary Paper
CHAIR: ANDREW FITZMAURICE
Joyce Chaplin, Atlantic Antislavery and Pacific Navigation

1.30-2.15 Producers and Collectors: Indigenous Agency and Ethnographic Collections, a Central Province PNG case study
CHAIR: ANDREW FITZMAURICE
Robin Torrence, Annie Clarke, Erna Lilje, Jude Philp

2.15-2.30 Tea break

2.30-3.40 Session 4: Atlantic Education in the Antipodes
CHAIR: DUNCAN IVISON
Joseph Meisel, The Representation of Learning in Parliament: Britain, North America, and Australasia
Julia Horne, Atlantic challenges in the antipodes

3.40-4.00 Plenary discussion on future directions

4.00 Close with drinks