Science, Voyages, and Encounters in Oceania, 1511-1850
|Publication Date||March 2014|
|Formats||Hardcover Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF)|
|Series||Palgrave Studies in Pacific History|
Spanning four centuries and vast space, this book combines the global history of ideas with particular histories of encounters between European voyagers and Indigenous people in Oceania (Island Southeast Asia, New Guinea, Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands). Douglas shows how prevailing concepts of human difference, or race, influenced travellers' approaches to encounters. Yet their presuppositions were often challenged or transformed by the appearance, conduct, and lifestyle of local inhabitants. The book's original theory and method reveal traces of Indigenous agency in voyagers' representations which in turn provided key evidence for the natural history of man and the science of race. In keeping with recent trends in colonial historiography, Douglas diverts historical attention from imperial centres to so-called peripheries, discredits the outmoded stereotype that Europeans necessarily dominated non-Europeans, and takes local agency seriously.