[ISHMap-List] Conference on maps and navigation, New Bedford Whaling Museum, Nov. 13-15, 2015

Chet Van Duzer chet.van.duzer at gmail.com
Sun Sep 13 22:34:43 CEST 2015

The conference "Keeping our Bearings: Maps, Navigation, ​Shipwrecks, and
the Unknown," organized by Christina Connett of the New Bedford Whaling
Museum and myself, will take place at the Museum on November 13 to 15 of
this year. I attach the program below, with hopes that it proves of


Chet Van Duzer
12177 Winton Way
Los Altos Hills, CA  94024-6431


​New Bedford Whaling Museum
18 Johnny Cake Hill
New Bedford, MA 02740

Visit www.whalingmuseum.org or call 508-997-0046 ext. 100 for registration,
pricing and more details.

*Keeping our Bearings: Maps, Navigation, Shipwrecks, and the Unknown*

*November 13-14*

*Related Additional Programming (optional) November 15*

The first cartography conference held at the New Bedford Whaling Museum
examines our connection to man’s relationship to the sea over time, from
medieval conceptions of the oceans as dark and monstrous places to 21st
century high tech modern underwater mapping used to search for shipwrecked
whaleships in the Arctic. Learn how a great clock changed the world and how
Marshall Islanders used stick charts that rely on swells and currents to
find their way. How and why mankind learned to find solutions to navigate
the oceans across different cultures and over time informs our
understanding of the cultural,spiritual, physical, and intellectual
challenges of marine navigation. Join us for a series of fascinating talks
by experts in cartography, navigation, and exploration to better understand
the oceans around us and how we continue to strive to find our bearings.

*Students with ID $25/Members $65/Non-Members $75*

*November 13*
*, Friday*

*Dava Sobel *

“The Quest for Longitude”

Dava Sobel is the author of Longitude, Galileo's Daughter, The Planets, and
A More Perfect Heaven, which contains her play about Nicolaus Copernicus,
called "And the Sun Stood Still." A former science reporter for the New
York Times, she is currently the Joan Lieman Jacobson Visiting NonFiction
Writer at Smith College in Northampton, Mass. Her new book, The Glass
Universe, is due to appear in fall 2016

*6:00-7:00 *

Reception and book signing



*Available as a separate ticket from the Conference at $20 member/ $25
non-member *

*Free for Conference Attendees*

*November 14th, Saturday*

*9:00-10:00 Registration with coffee and light breakfast *

*Books by speakers available for purchase and signing*

*10:00-10:15: Opening Remarks by Dr. Christina Connett*

*10:15-11:00 Chet Van Duzer*

”From the Haunt of Monsters to the Domain of the Navigator: Evolving Ideas
about the Oceans”
*In this talk Chet will examine the evolution of European ideas about the
oceans from antiquity to the Age of Exploration. Ancient and medieval
writings and maps of the oceans show that they were conceived as places of
danger—dark, stormy, full of monsters, and confined by various barriers to
navigation. In the late Middle Ages, ideas about the oceans slowly began to
change: sailors came to realize that some of the dangers and barriers they
had imagined were not real, and the seas came to be perceived as venues of
opportunity rather than of danger. Improvements in navigation both enabled
and accompanied this dramatic change.*

​Chet Van Duzer has published extensively on medieval and Renaissance maps
in journals such as *Imago Mundi*, *Terrae Incognitae* and *Word & Image*.
He is also the author of *Johann Schöner’s Globe of 1515: Transcription and
Study*, the first detailed analysis of one of the earliest surviving
terrestrial globes that includes the New World; and (with John Hessler) *Seeing
the World Anew: The Radical Vision of Martin Waldseemüller’s 1507 & 1516
World Maps*. His book *Sea Monsters on Medieval and Renaissance Maps* was
published in 2013 by the British Library, and in 2014 the Library of
Congress published a study of Christopher Columbus’s *Book of Privileges*
which he co-authored with John Hessler and Daniel De Simone. His current
book projects are a study of Henricus Martellus’s world map of c. 1491 at
Yale University based on multispectral imagery, and the commentary for a
facsimile of the 1550 manuscript world map by Pierre Desceliers, which will
be published by the British Library.

​*11:00-11:45 Dick Pflederer*

“Setting the Stage for Trans-Atlantic Voyaging…Advances in Navigation and
Chartmaking in the Fifteenth And Sixteenth Century”

*In the age before the advent of printed sea charts, the primary
navigational tools were the manuscript sea charts called portolan charts
and rudimentary instruments including the magnetic compass, the astrolabe
and the cross staff. This paper focuses on the development and use of these
tools and how they were applied to Atlantic voyaging in the fifteenth and
sixteenth centuries.  *

Richard Pflederer is the author of *Finding their Way at Sea*, a
general-audience study of portolan charts, as well as eight reference books
and several of articles, focusing on these charts. He won the Caird
Fellowship of the National Maritime Museum in 2005 and has conducted other
long term research projects while resident at the British Library and the
Bodleian Library. He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, a
member of the Editorial Advisory Council of The Portolan and a member of
the Society for the History of Discoveries and the International Map
Collectors’ Society. He has lectured on related subjects at venues around
the world, such as London, Chicago, Washington, Miami, Guatemala City and
Verona Italy. He teaches in the adult education section of the College of
William & Mary and has served a member of the adjunct faculty of Old
Dominion University. In 2009 he founded the Williamsburg Map Circle, a
group whose aim is to promote the understanding of maps within the
community. He is a graduate of Northwestern University and now shares his
time between Williamsburg, Virginia and Montepulciano, Tuscany.

*11:45-12:30 John Bockstoce*

”The cartography of Bering Strait and the discovery of the Western Arctic
whaling grounds”

*Although the early cartography of Bering Strait was based largely on
speculation and verbal reports, the rivalry between Russia and Britain for
domain in the Western Arctic resulted in the first accurate charts of the
region.  After the discovery of the Bering Strait whaling grounds in 1848
--and the rush by the whaling fleet to exploit the new fishery-- these
charts became the basis for E. and G. W. Blunt's  "Polar, Behring sea and
strait, from english & russian surveys", published in New York in 1849 and
widely employed by northern mariners for half a century.*

John R. Bockstoce is an independent scholar specializing in the history of
the Western Arctic whaling industry and fur trade.  From 1974 to 1986 he
was curator of ethnology at the Old Dartmouth Historical Society, now the
New Bedford Whaling Museum.  He received his doctorate, in Arctic
Archaeology, from the University of Oxford.

*12:30-2:00 break for lunch*

*2:00 – 3:00 tour of NBWM and *
*aps from the Kislak Collection with Chet Van Duzer and Christina Connett
in the Reading Room. *

*3:00 – 3:45 John Huth*

“Wave piloting and stick charts of the Marshall Islands”

*The Marshall Islands in the equatorial Pacific has a distinct navigational
culture that involves the observation of wave and swell patterns for
sailors to find their way among the 27 atolls in their territory.   An
important part of the voyaging tradition is the use of stick charts to
illustrate the patterns of waves as perturbed by atolls, both as a
general-purpose chart and as a teaching aid to explain reflections,
refractions, and transformations of waves/swells as they pass atolls. *

The Donner Professor of
​ ​
Science at Harvard, John Huth investigates cultures of navigation in
collaboration with anthropologists, and is the author of the book *The Lost
Art of Finding Our Way*, which accompanies a course he developed for the
General Education offerings in the category of Science of the Physical
Universe, Empirical and Mathematical Reasons, and Study of the Past at
Harvard University.  A Ventures Faculty Member at the Radcliffe Institute
for Advanced Study, he coordinates interdisciplinary studies, including a
recent science symposium on navigation. Huth continues to study indigenous
navigation techniques, with a particular focus on the Marshall Islanders
tradition of wave piloting.

*3:45-4:15 Christina Connett*

“Charting the Whale”

*This lecture will address whales in cartography, from elements of
decoration to maps used for commercial exploitation, navigation, cultural
celebrations and documentations of whales and whaling, and modern
conservation and biological study. From medieval manuscripts of sea
monsters to the plotted charts of whalers to the sound waves of whale songs
to the stars in the sky. Using maps from the New Bedford Whaling Museum
collection and others, the talk will discuss their diversity, beauty, and
intellectual value. *

Christina Connett is a cartographic art historian with a PhD in the History
of Art from the University of Valencia, Spain; an MA in Art History from
University of Auckland, New Zealand; and a BA from Northwestern University.
Formerly a professor at UMASS Dartmouth and RISD, where she taught a
variety of art history courses including the History of Cartography, she is
currently the Curator of Exhibitions and Collections at the New Bedford
Whaling Museum. Her doctorate work was on 16th century Spanish imperial
cartography of the Americas and she has spent a large part of her life at
sea navigating the oceans.

*4:15-4:30 Mark Procknik*

“Research and accessibility of the NBWM map collection”

*4:30-5:15 Matthew Lawrence*

“Mapping in Search of Whaling Shipwrecks in the Western Arctic”

*Sometimes, researching the rich whaling heritage of the Arctic requires
more than just visiting libraries to read and carefully decipher logs and
journals.  Such traditional archival research is an essential activity and
offers many insights from available, first-person accounts of key events,
but may be insufficient to complete the final chapters of these compelling
stories.  In August 2015, a mapping mission was conducted to search for
what remains of the 32 whaling ships abandoned along the coast of the
Chukchi Sea in 1871, as well as the approximately 50 other whaling ships
reported as lost there in the mid-19th to the early 20th Centuries.
Clearly, this place, located off Wainwright, Point Belcher, and the
Seahorse Islands, has considerable historical significance within the
context of the whaling heritage of the Western Arctic, and perhaps in the
global whaling heritage landscape.  The data and information acquired
through the use of advanced underwater mapping and video imaging technology
employed during this two-week cruise offers additional documentation as to
the location and state of the wrecks of these ships, and may ultimately
provide some clearer sense of what transpired during the dark and ice-bound
winter of 1871-1872 after these ships were abandoned.*

Matthew Lawrence is a maritime archaeologist working for the Stellwagen
Bank National Marine Sanctuary headquartered in Scituate, Massachusetts.
He has a M. A. in Maritime History and Nautical Archaeology from East
Carolina University’s Program in Maritime Studies.  In addition to the
Stellwagen Bank sanctuary, he has conducted archaeological fieldwork at the
American Samoa, Olympic Coast, Channel Islands, Thunder Bay, and Florida
Keys National Marine Sanctuaries.  His professional research interests
include nineteenth century steam navigation and the U.S. coasting trade.

*5:15-5:30 closing remarks: Chet van Duzer and Christina Connett*

*November 15th, Sunday: Related additional programming (optional)*

“A Hands-On Introduction to Astrolabes“

with Kristine Larsen, PhD, Professor of Astronomy at Central Connecticut
State University

*Optional extension family friendly workshop*

*10:00-12:00 *

*$10 members/$15 non-members*

This hour-long hands-on workshop will introduce participants to the basic
astronomical principles behind a simple astrolabe. Participants will be led
through a series of rudimentary calculations using a cardboard instrument
that is theirs to keep, and receive a workbook with additional examples and
problems (for their own personal instruction or for use in their classroom).

*Optional extension trip to Mystic Seaport*

*2:00 – 3:00 *

*Off-site group tour of Mystic Seaport’s new exhibition Ships, Clocks &
Stars: The Quest for Longitude*.

$20 for members/ $25 for non-members

The group will meet at Mystic Seaport main entrance at 2:00 for a tour of
the exhibition. This exhibition tells the extraordinary story of the race
to determine longitude at sea. Spurred on by the promise of rich rewards,
astronomers, philosophers, and artisans, including John Harrison and his
innovative timekeepers, finally solved one of the greatest technical
challenges of the 18th century.​
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