Call for Papers | The Travellers’ Tails Seminars: Exploration

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on August 20, 2014


George Stubbs, Portrait of the Kongouro (Kangaroo)
from New Holland, 1772 (National Maritime Museum)

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From the Call for Papers:

The Travellers’ Tails Seminars: Exploration
National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, Four Thursdays,  9 October 2014 — 29 January 2015

Proposals due by 5 September 2014

The Art Fund and Heritage Lottery Fund have generously funded a series of seminars at the National Maritime Museum and partner museums around the UK to investigate the histories, practices and interpretation of art, science and exploration from the Enlightenment to the present day. The seminars will bring together scholars, artists, scientists, explorers, members of the public and museum professionals to examine the changing nature, impact and legacies of European exploration since the mid-18th century. The seminars will focus on today’s audiences and discuss the display and interpretation of the material culture of exploration within gallery, heritage and museum environments. Seminars will interrogate the relevance of the subject and issues surrounding its presentation in a post-imperial world. George Stubbs’ iconic paintings of a kangaroo and dingo, recently acquired by the National Maritime Museum, will provide a starting point for wider-ranging papers and discussion within a multi-disciplinary environment.

Thursday, 9 October 2014: Lost in Translation
• How are the experiences and the material culture of exploration translated for those back at ‘home’?
• How have new places and frameworks of knowledge been introduced to Western societies?

Thursday, 20 November 2014: Finding Voices and Re-shaping History
• How might established narratives of exploration be accommodated within modern interpretations?
• To what extent and with what effect did indigenous peoples contribute to the making and dissemination of European knowledge?

Thursday, 4 December 2014: Empire and the Museum
• How and with what effects is Empire represented in museums?
• How can historical and contemporary exploration be documented and displayed to ensure other voices are included?

Thursday, 29 January 2015: Arts and Science: An Enlightened Approach
• How does bringing together the arts and sciences add to the interpretation of exploration?
• Where were the cross-overs between the arts and sciences historically, how are they viewed today and why?

Proposals of no longer than 250 words, for presentations of 20 minutes, should be sent to research@rmg.co.uk by no later than Friday, 5 September 2014. We welcome submissions for papers and less-formal presentations from academics, curators, artists and other specialists in the fields. Proposals from postgraduate students and early career scholars are encouraged.

Exhibition | Australian Encounters: Charting a Continent

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on August 20, 2014


Rock Wallaby © Natural History Museum, London; Rainbow Lorrikeets © Natural History Museum; London, and Cook’s Map of Australia 1773

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From the museum:

Australian Encounters: Charting a Continent
Captain Cook Memorial Museum, Whitby, North Yorkshire, 1 March — 3 November 2014

Cook and his successors completed the chart of the continent’s coastline and marvelled at the strange new creatures they saw—’unlike anything encountered before!’ He and his crew navigated in unknown treacherous waters, where the ship was holed on a coral reef, and then had to be beached and repaired. The voyage, however, led to the choice of Botany Bay as the site of a new colony, starting a trail of immense change throughout Australasia. This year marks the bicentenary of the publication of the entire coastline, completed by Matthew Flinders in 1814.

The Captain Cook Memorial Museum is housed in an historic building on the harbourside: John Walker’s House. In 1746 James Cook, then a youth aged seventeen, came here to be apprenticed to Captain John Walker. A beautiful 17th-century house, this is the sole remaining building which can with certainty be connected to Cook.

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