Home > Captain Cook Conference, 2002 in the UK

Captain Cook Conference, 2002 in the UK


A Conference was held at Teesside University, 11-14 September 2002, entitled Captain Cook: Explorations and Reassessments.
Here is the report published in the October issue of Cook's Log The Arts and Humanities Research Board (AHRB) conference Captain Cook: Explorations and Reassessments was held at the University of Teesside, Middlesbrough 11-14th September 2002. The conference was divided into six sessions: The Early Years, The Men Behind Cook, Cook and the Anthropologists, European Responses, The Influence of Cook and finally, Reading Cook's Journals.
The first session provided much "background colour" to merchant shipping along the north east coast, and the power and influence of the Quaker ship owners.
This was followed by some indications of the men who could exert influence in the Royal Society (what DID they talk about over dinner?), and the way the Admiralty and Navy Board worked. Victor Suthren's paper reminded us that Cook's time in Canadian waters bore as great an influence over his later career as did his time in Whitby.
Prof. Dame Anne Salmond delivered an impressive paper on the impact of the Pacific on Cook (as opposed to vice versa), suggesting that the "cumulative history of a decade of voyaging" had its toll on him and was responsible for his behaviour on his third voyage.
The first session on Friday concerned the responses of other nations to Cook and his voyages. The Spanish were seemingly indifferent to Cook, whereas the French (in particular La Perouse) were keen to learn all they could. It came as a surprise to me to learn the Russians were greatly influenced by stories of Cook and this lead to a resurgence of noble adventurers keen to follow in the great man's wake.
All this and much more was expounded in quite a short space of time and a lot of information and opinion could be taken in. Around 60 people at various times attended the conference, always a goodly number of the Society who may, like me, have found some of the lectures a little weighted to the more academic listener. However, as often happens, the tea and coffee breaks provided opportunities for interesting discussions between all delegates on a variety of Cook-related issues.
All in all, I thought it to be a most stimulating few days, even though the style of delivery adopted by the lecturers made some papers less rewarding than they might otherwise have been. A few more illustrations would not have gone amiss. Our "own" John Robson was the only one to embrace modern technology by using Powerpoint.
Ruth B Jones

No comments

Unsolicited e-mail warning

It has come to our attention that spam mailers (senders of bulk unsolicited e-mail) have been forging their mail with this domain as the point of origin. As a matter of policy, we do not send out e-mail from our domain name. If you have received an email that appears to be from "@CaptainCookSociety.com" it was forged and sent without our consent, knowledge, or the use of our servers.