The Atlantic World in the Antipodes

THE ATLANTIC WORLD IN THE ANTIPODES: Transformations and Effects since the Eighteenth Century (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2012). 


In 2009, I co-convened Australia’s first ever Sawyer Seminar, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Over 18 months, through a series of seminars, we brought together scholars from around the world to discuss “The Antipodean Laboratory” from the eighteenth century to the present. The seminar concluded in a two-day international symposium in 2010. I collected and edited some of the best papers from the enterprise. The result was studded with stellar names in Russian, Australian, British, Pacific, and American history, including Sheila Fitzpatrick, Alison Bashford, Margaret Jolly, Katerina Teaiwa, Hamish Maxwell-Stewart, Damon Salesa, Ann Curthoys, Anita Herle, Simon Schaffer, Helen Gardener, Iain McCalman, Michael A. McDonnell, and Sophie Jensen.

The historian of science, Warwick Anderson, reviewed it as “a revelatory historical tour of Oceania.” He said it showed “us time and again how southern encounters made us modern. In these essays, we keep finding key figures of the Atlantic world bobbing up on vast Pacific swells, revealing far more of themselves than they dared in northern climes. Importantly, The Atlantic World in the Antipodes conveys the conflict and intimacy, the rapacity and remorse, of Pacific interactions and entanglements, giving voice to the scattered inhabitants on the islands and along the shores, and demonstrating their global influence. [It] brilliantly realizes the promise of the dispersive and deconstructive logics of the new global, or trans-oceanic, history.”