Forgot your password? | Register Here
 

Sea People: The Puzzle of Polynesia with Christina Thompson

Public Lecture Series with Christina Thompson

For more than a millennium, Polynesians have occupied the remotest islands in the Pacific Ocean, a vast triangle stretching from Hawaii to New Zealand to Easter Island. Until the arrival of European explorers they were the only people to have ever lived there. Both the most closely related and the most widely dispersed people in the world before the era of mass migration, Polynesians can trace their roots to a group of epic voyagers who ventured out into the unknown in one of the greatest adventures in human history.

How did the earliest Polynesians find and colonize these far-flung islands? How did a people without writing or metal tools conquer the largest ocean in the world? This conundrum, which came to be known as the Problem of Polynesian Origins, emerged in the eighteenth century as one of the great geographical mysteries of mankind.

For Christina Thompson, this mystery is personal: her Maori husband and their sons descend directly from these ancient navigators. In Sea People, Thompson explores the fascinating story of these ancestors, as well as those of the many sailors, linguists, archaeologists, folklorists, biologists, and geographers who have puzzled over this history for three hundred years. Her lecture will mix history, geography, anthropology, and the science of navigation, combining the thrill of exploration with the drama of discovery in a vivid tour of one of the most captivating regions in the world.

Christina Thompson is the editor of Harvard Review, and the author of the memoir “Come on Shore and We Will Kill You and Eat You All”, which was shortlisted for the 2009 NSW Premier’s Award and the 2010 William Saroyan International Prize for Writing. She is the recipient of numerous fellowships, including writing grants from the NEA, Arts Victoria, and the Australia Council, as well as an NEH Public Scholar Award. Her essays and reviews have appeared in a wide range of publications, including Vogue, American Scholar, Journal of Pacific History, and three editions of Best Australian Essays. She teaches writing at Harvard University Extension, where she was awarded the James E. Conway Excellence in Teaching Award in 2008.


Date: Monday, March 25

Time: 6:00 pm Reception, 7:00 pm Presentation

Location: Club Headquarters, 46 E 70th Street, New York, NY, 10021

Member Ticket Price: $10

Guest Ticket Price: $25

Student Ticket Price: $5 with a valid student ID

Reservation Notes:

Click here to purchase tickets online

Reservations are allotted on a first come, first serve basis. To secure a reservation, you may also call us at 212.628.8383 or email us at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).















Back to top
The Explorers Club ®, World Center for Exploration ®, The Flag and the Seal are registered trademarks of The Explorers Club. Use by others is strictly prohibited. Photographs appearing on this website are used by permission and may not be copied or re-used in any manner.

Background image photography courtesy of members Christoph Baumer, Neil Laughton, Matt Harris and Don Walsh's image of the Bathyscape Trieste