ZOOM SEMINAR: People, Oceans and History
- Date: –16:00
- Location: Via Zoom
- Lecturer: Margaret R. Hunt, Fellow, SCAS. Senior Professor of History, Uppsala universitet
- Organiser: Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study (SCAS)
- Contact person: Klas Holm
Full title: People, Oceans and History: A Preliminary Survey of the State of the Field with Special Reference to the Indian Ocean.
The early modern period (hereafter EMP), usually dated to roughly 1450-1800 CE, was a pivotal time for oceans as well as for the people who fished them, travelled and traded across them, and fought over them. Peoples, animals, plants and pathogens previously cut off from each other by oceans now converged, with sometimes fatal consequences. New technologies, ideas, habits of consumption, and modes of exploitation, including better techniques of map-making and navigation, novel religious movements, previously unfamiliar foodstuffs and manufactures, and highly coercive labour regimes spread widely, and, to a large extent globally. Innovative military and commercial relationships began to be forged between emergent states and empires and the people who plied the oceans. And anthropogenic harms began to manifest themselves in some of the world’s oceans, especially along the coastlines and in island habitats. Much of the scholarship on these and other important changes associated with the EMP emphasizes elite actors, but this talk seeks to explore how these and other big changes affected and were in turn affected by ordinary European, African and Asian sailors and their relatives and connections on shore. The talk especially focuses on vernacular beliefs about the nature and sustainability of the oceans and the animals and plants that lived there; on the impact of literacy, science and mathematics on ordinary sailors; on the ways sailors and other travelers made sense of epidemic diseases like typhus, the plague, and yellow fever (endemic to many port towns in
the early modern period); and on the way everyday religiosity fared in the face of a newly globalized ‘marketplace’ of spiritual ideas and practices.
More information and link to the webinar: http://www.swedishcollegium.se