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Sailing A 20th Century Square Rigger

Contemporary Travel is Fast and Efficient ... Board a Plane .. Eat a Meal ... Watch a Movie ... Take a Nap ... and ... A Few Hours Later ... The Traveler Disembarks in a New and Distant Land to ... Sample Unique Foods ... Observe Exotic Dances and ... Decipher the Language of the Quaint Inhabitants ... By contrast ... travel during the 18th century was slow, laborious and quite difficult ... University of Michigan Assistant ... Professor Vanessa Agnew ... Spent ... six weeks aboard a replica of ... Captain Cook’s 18th Century Ship ... The Endeavour ... She retraced a portion of ... Cook’s First Voyage ... and learned firsthand the rigors and rewards of working on a ... Square-Rigger ... As it Sailed From ... Cairns, Australia to Bali, and Indonesia ...

She is a cultural critic specializing in 18th century travel writing and the intersections between natural history, music, exploration and colonization. Agnew teaches courses in the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures on Mozart’s “The Magic Flute” and Brecht’s “Threepenny Opera,” racial discourse and travel writing. Thanks to her ... Research on Music and 18th Century Voyaging ... she was recruited with five other historians and cultural critics from Australia, New Zealand, Britain and the United States to participate in a series of documentary films titled “The Ship,” airing on the ... BBC and the History Channel ... in Fall 2002. For Agnew and The Rest of the Crew ... Daily Life Aboard the Ship Began as They Woke from their Hammocks in Primitive, Shared Quarters... Throughout the Day, ... Program Producers ... conducted individual interviews with ... Agnew and other Crew Members. ...The Crew ... when not being interviewed ... completed routine duties ... Including Swabbing the Decks ... Helming the Ship... Working the Sails ... Pushing the Capstan ... and ... Climbing the Mast ... Agnew Asks ... Who Remembers Hanging Upside Down from the Yardarm? ... (the spar that carries the sail to roll up the sails.) ... The Authentic 18th Century Experience Extended to ... A Daily Menu of Salt Beef and Pork, Sauerkraut, Dried Anchovies, Hardtack (a dry biscuit) and Peas ... and Breakfasts of ... Oatmeal and Raisins ... To Prevent Scurvy ... the adapted modern menu included vitamin supplements, something that could have benefited ... Captain Cook and His Crew ... We were desperate for ... Decent Food ... Agnew says ... “And She Never Wants to Eat Porridge Again ... The rare opportunity also gave her a firsthand understanding of the philosophic and intellectual ways in which ... An 18th Century Traveler ... May Have Interpreted the Journey ... She explains that as the ship nears land, the change in environment is gradual and methodic, providing those aboard with an opportunity to consider the surroundings ... The Approach to an island is ... Very Slow ... Professor Agnew Describes ... One begins to speculate: Why is the vegetation dense in one location and sparse in another? Why are the flora and fauna different? Why are the people the way they are? One can see, for instance, how the German naturalist and writer Georg Forster might have come up with theories about cultural relativism in the South Seas, or the evolutionist ... Alfred Russel Wallace ... with theories about the continental separation between Asia and Australia. "It’s as though the islands themselves suggest a framework for comparison.” The measured approach encourages contemplation ... Professor Agnew ... is captivated by the dynamics of cross-cultural encounters. During the 18th century, when a vessel and its crew came in contact with new people, ...The Sailors and Islanders Often Participated in ... Gift Giving ... Trading and Hospitality Rituals ... She Reveals ... They played music and entertained one another ... They Compiled Vocabularies and ... Set up Markets ... Not only did the crew want what others had ... fruit, livestock, beads, nails or sex ... They Wanted to Satisfy Basic Curiosity ... These initial interactions formed the basis for more systematic ethnographic reflection.

... Professor Agnew says ... From a broader perspective, the awareness that other ... cultures achieved through the voyages of ... Captain Cook ... and similar explorers who paved the way for what is now known as ... Globalization... Europeans took possession of territory they considered themselves to have “discovered" ... Trade Connections Were Established, and ... Settlers, Missionaries and Colonial Administrators Were Sent out From Metropolitan Centers, Agnew says ... For the first time, it was not only possible, but also necessary, to think of the world as a totality ... Today’s World, in Contrast to Cook’s ... is readily available via the Web ... Making 18th Century Voyage Texts Available to a Broad Audience ... Professor Agnew is preparing a hypermedia edition of Samuel Wallis’ journal dealing with the European discovery of Tahiti ... This is important ... She Points Out ... because in the past, such material tended to be available only in manuscript form to academics. Through her work on the South Seas Project, a collaborative venture with the ... Centre for Cross-Cultural Research at the Australian National University and the National Library of Australia ... Agnew will see this material made available online. “People often do not see how current ways of thinking are inflected by the past ... Agnew says ... "Participating in a series of films like this gives me the opportunity to talk about the 18th century to a lay public. It also allows me to think about the ways in which we write about the past—whether that means the philosophic reflections of Georg Forster or ‘extreme history’ adventures aboard a replica of an 18th century sailing ship.” Published On: January 28, 2002


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