An interview with Peter Neill
WERU Community Radio, December 3, 2012More
Vasant J. Sheth Memorial Lecture
England’s efforts to colonize North America and India were born from the same impulse and at the same time. As early as the 1580s, the great apostle of English colonization Richard Hakluyt, Sr., thought of them in tandem, while the East India Company and the Virginia Company (whose employees established the first permanent English settlement in North America) were founded only six years apart, in 1600 and 1606, respectively.
Considered in imperial perspective, then, India and the United States have been linked for more than four hundred years, though for almost the first two centuries only indirectly. Ships of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries could certainly sail between North America and the subcontinent, and the will was there. Direct trade between the two regions was prevented not by technology or indifference, but by policy.More
In The Routledge Research Companion to Marine and Maritime Worlds, 1400–1800: Oceans in Global History and Culture, edited by Claire Jowitt, Steve Mentz, and Craig Lambert. London: Routledge, 2020.
Among the most complex issues of early modern history is the nature of the European breakout onto the world ocean and the so-called ‘age of discovery’. Assessments of what happened and why, what is meant by words like ‘discovery’, and even what the era’s chronological limits are, change from generation to generation and place to place, and depend in part on who is considering the matter and in what context. A modern dictionary defines ‘discover’ as ‘to notice or learn, especially by making an effort’. Yet the seventeenth-century jurist Hugo Grotius maintained that discovery involved ‘actual seizure […] Thus the philologists treat the expressions “to discover” and “to take possession of” as synonymous’. A further difficulty arises from the entanglement of the motives behind the voyages of discovery, what was actually discovered, and what resulted from Europeans’ encounters with the rest of the world.More
Sea History 172 (2020): 5.
In June, the Maine Maritime Museum announced its plan “to consider how an institution such as ours can contribute to the dialogue about equity, inclusion, and justice, particularly by raising awareness of how Maine’s maritime enterprise has shaped and been shaped by issues of race, ethnicity, and gender.” Skeptics abound, of course. What can a maritime museum in the whitest state in the country possibly have to say about race in what many incorrectly perceive to be a “white” profession?More