Category Archives: Atlantic

The Atlantic World in a Pacific Field

Sydney Sawyer Seminar: The Antipodean Laboratory: Humanity, Sovereignty and Environment in Southern Oceans and Lands, 1700-2009
Generously supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the University of Sydney
The University of Sydney is the proud host of the first Mellon Sawyer Seminar to be held in Australia. The seminar will conclude with a conference on 5-7 August 2010.
The Atlantic World in a Pacific Field: A Conference

5-7 August, 2010, University of Sydney
How does a strange place or people become comparable with those more familiar? What does it take to relate a new plant or animal to those already well known? How does one standardize observations and mobilize things and people and situations so they have meaning elsewhere? That is, how was the Pacific made into the obligatory site for exploring the issues that mattered in the Atlantic world? In particular, this conference will examine the ways in which both oceanic regions were co-produced through a complicated series of intellectual and practical interactions over many centuries. Moreover, it will seek ways in which to make the Pacific visible again in global scholarship.

Speakers include:

  • Alison Bashford, Sydney

‘Karl Haushofer’s Geopolitics of the Pacific Ocean’

  • Janet Browne, Harvard University

‘Corresponding Naturalists’

  • Jorge Cañizares-Esguerra, Texas

        ‘From Lima to Australia: Biblical Knowledge and the Antipodes in the Viceroyalty of Peru, ca 1600’

  • Joyce Chaplin, Harvard University

‘Atlantic Antislavery and Pacific Navigation’

  • Ann Curthoys, Sydney

        ‘Comparative indigenous politics in Australia’\’

  • Sheila Fitzpatrick, Chicago

        ‘Nikolai Miklouho-Maclay:  In His Own Words’

  • Anita Herle, Cambridge

        ‘Creating the Anthropological Field in the Pacific’

  • Chris Hilliard, Sydney

        ‘The Strange Maori: Ethnographic Knowledge and the Settler Culture Industry’

  • Julia Horne, Sydney

        ‘Atlantic challenges in the antipodes’

  • Michael McDonnell, Sydney

        ‘Facing Empire: Indigenous Histories in Comparative Perspective’

  • Joseph Meisel, Mellon Foundation

        ‘The Representation of Learning in Parliament: Britain, North America, and Australasia’

  • Andrew Moutu, Adelaide

       ‘Value and the problem of symmetry’

  • Damon Salesa, Michigan

        ‘Medical Spaces and Imperial Encounters in Samoa and the Pacific’

  • Katerina Teaiwa, ANU

        ‘Between Oceans: Popular Kinship and the ACP’

  • Simon Schaffer, Cambridge

        ‘In transit: European cosmologies in the Pacific’

For more information, including a full program, abstracts, how to register and information on bursaries available for postgraduates, please visit the Sydney Sawyer website.

Atlantic Justice in the Pacific World

Atlantic Justice in the Pacific World: Property, Rights, and Indigeneity

17 July 2009, 1–5pm
Sutherland Room, Holme Building, Science Road, The University of Sydney
Sydney Sawyer Seminar
Convenors:        Duncan Ivison and Andrew Fitzmaurice
Presenters:        Sankar Muthu, (University of Chicago) 
                       Jennifer Pitts, (University of Chicago) 
                       Andrew Fitzmaurice, (University of Sydney)
As Europeans turned to the Pacific they brought with them a well-established Atlantic framework for thinking about rights. And, indeed, thinking about the Pacific helped to inspire some of the most prominent Enlightenment philosophers and historians. But by the nineteenth century this whole edifice was falling apart. The understanding of what it was to have a right underwent dramatic changes, which often had devastating consequences for colonized peoples. The aim of this seminar will be to examine the role of the Pacific in the transformation of our understanding of rights.
The session is free, but registration is essential.  RSVP to Katherine Anderson [email protected]  or 02 9036 5347 by July 13.

The Impact of the Antipodes on Anthropological Thought

The Sydney Sawyer Seminar explores the history of how the Antipodes – and especially the Indo-Pacific lands and oceans – has constituted a laboratory for the Atlantic world over a broad intellectual, geographical and temporal scale. Our seminar covers three centuries from 1700 to 2009, and focuses on Atlantic-derived conceptions and experiences within the Antipodes that bear especially on the themes of humanity and cultures, of sovereignty and imperialism, and of environment and ecology.

Session One
The Impact of the Antipodes on Anthropological Thought: Histories of Human Order
Friday, 27 March 2009
1-5pm, Holme & Sutherland Rooms, Holme Building, Science Road, The University of Sydney
Convenor:     Jude Philp
Presenters:   

  • Elena Govor, Australian National University ‘Miklouho-Maclay and Russian anthropology’
  • Shino Konishi, Australian National University ‘The Slippery Native Tongue: Aborigines, explorers, and the eighteenth-century notion of a natural language’
  • Ron Day, Murray Island Community Council   ‘Meriam-le (Mer Islnders), Anthropologists and the idea of rational understanding’
  • Helen Gardner, Deakin University  ‘Out of site: missionary/anthropologists and their informants’
  • Jude Philp, University of Sydney  ‘Taking Torres Strait Islander culture to Cambridge University’
  • Discussant:    Warwick Anderson, University of Sydney, tbc

This session investigates the impact of the antipodes on anthropological thought through centring discussion on the disparate and extraordinarily diverse peoples of the Pacific region. The aim of many 18th-century European expeditions to the Pacific was to glean information about natural phenomena (geology, astronomy, cartography etc). The mediators of this information were the peoples indigenous to the many islands and lands spread across the Pacific Ocean. Rather than a laboratory of clinical and predetermined materials, the antipodean ‘laboratory’ was often treated as a marketplace where negotiation for access to resources necessarily involved the gathering of cultural knowledge, names, languages and cultural products. These chance purchases and notes were the beginnings of anthropological thought here.
RSVP to Katherine Anderson [email protected]  or 02 9036 5347 by March 20.
For further information regarding the Mellon Sawyer Seminar series visit:
http://www.arts.usyd.edu.au/school/sophi/news_events/sawyer_seminar_series.shtml