What’s On

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Joy Porter, ‘A Place of “Wild and Savage Hue”: The Political Ecological Legacies of the Mayflower Sailing’. 19 March 2020 | University of Plymouth | POSTPONED

In this lecture Professor Joy Porter, University of Hull, broadens and lengthens thinking on the ecological, political and cultural impacts of the Mayflower Sailing. It begins by contrasting Greta Thurnberg’s recent transatlantic sailing with that of the Mayflower as a way to think about how much has changed – and stayed the same. The lecture connects the ecological impacts begun by Mayflower to the 19th Century and the present day; from species introduction, eg of ‘English honey bees’, to the impact of settlement on streams, fish and forests. It explores evidence about what it felt like to be in that “hideous and desolate wilderness” from both settler and indigenous perspectives, and the approaches to resources this entailed. Fellow travellers with the Mayflower occupants – from bed bugs to human lice – are a special focus. Thirteen new immigrant insects got established by 1800 in what became the United States and they had profound impact on crop production, set the stage for further species introductions and prompted a series of other changes. A much bigger and more immediate problem however, was the soil exhaustion brought about by non-indigenous settlement.

Charles Prior, ‘The Covenant Chain and the Politics of the Northeastern Interior’. 17 March 2020 | King’s College, London | POSTPONED

GPP-logoOn 17 March 2020 David Armitage will deliver the annual Sons of the American Revolution Georgian Papers Programme Lecture at King’s College London. His topic will be George III and the Law of Nations. He will examine how George III was educated in constitutionalism and the law of nations, how he gathered and processed information about imperial and international affairs, and how this constitutional and juridical knowledge shaped his understanding of international relations.

To accompany the lecture, Professor Armitage will lead a workshop earlier in the day which will explore the encounter between the British crown and extra-European polities. The diplomatic history of European monarchies is a familiar topic, but their global encounters have largely been approached within frames of exploration, conquest, or expropriation. This workshop will tilt that framework, probing the interpersonal and reciprocal aspects of three different British royal encounters – with India, America, and China. Priya Atwal, Charles Prior, and Henrietta Harrison will each deliver short papers, Professor Armitage will respond, and we will then open up the discussion to everyone. We hope to engage a variety of perspectives – from political and cultural history, to the history of political thought, global history, and the history of empires and colonialism — in what should be an ideal preparation for the evening’s lecture, which all are also invited to attend. The workshop should be of interest to MA and PhD students working in all these fields.