A landmark exhibition at the BGC is the occasion for this two-day investigation of the impact of the maritime world on the human—both as individuals and as civilizations. Margrieta van Varick, who moved from Amsterdam to Malacca and then from Malacca to Flatbush via Holland, offers a good example of the oceanic existence in the seventeenth century. The micro-historical exhibition built around her probate inventory shows in detail how travel, commerce, and communication could affect the life of a single person in the seventeenth century.

Sixty years after publication of Braudel’s La Méditerranée et le Monde Méditerranéen à l’Epoque de Philippe II, it is by now clear that seas and oceans have stimulated extraordinarily original historical projects. The historians’ seas, too, are global, connecting as well as separating distant peoples. This symposium will bring together scholars of the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans, and the Mediterranean, China, and Black Seas, to look forward and suggest ways in which a thalassographic frame can open up methodological and historiographical questions or horizons which will be important for new ways of studying the human past.

October 19

Peter N. Miller
Dean, Professor Bard Graduate Center

Nicholas Purcell
Faculty of Classics, Oxford University
Beach, Tide and Backwash: the Place of Maritime Histories

October 20

Willem Klooster
Department of History, Clark University
Towards an Integrated Approach: the Atlanticist Focus on Comparison, Entanglement, and Hybridity

Nicola Di Cosmo
School of Historical Studies, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton University
Connecting Maritime and Continental History: The Black Sea Region Between Mediterranean and Steppes During the Mongol Empire

James Francis Warren
Department of Southeast Asian Studies, Murdoch University
The Metaphorical Perspective of the Sea and the Sulu Zone, 1768-1898

Roxani Eleni Margariti
Department of Middle Eastern and Southern Asian Studies, Emory University
An Archipelago of Cities? Port Cities, Insularity, and the Historiography of the “Medieval” Western Indian Ocean

Angela Schottenhammer
Department of Asian Studies, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität
The East Asian “Mediterranean” - A Medium of Flourishing Exchange Relations and Interaction in the East Asian World

Peter N. Miller
Dean and Chair for Academic Programs, Bard Graduate Center
The Mediterranean and the Mediterranean World in the Age of Peiresc

Sanjay Subrahmanyam
Department of History, University of California, Los Angeles
Gerhard Wolf
Director, Max-Planck-Institut, Kunsthistorisches Institut, Florence
Observations and Remarks