Monday, February 26, 2018

Hotel Oregon History Pub

Whaling the Pacific World: An Unprecedented Adventure

Hotel Oregon - Mattie's Room

5:30 p.m. doors, 6:30 p.m. program


All ages welcome

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About Whaling the Pacific World: An Unprecedented Adventure

Whaling the Pacific World: An Unprecedented Adventure

Presented by Lissa Wadewitz, Associate History Professor, Linfield College

American whalers began entering the Pacific in the 1790s, but the heyday of the industry in that vast ocean was the 1830s through the 1860s. In those decades, thousands of increasingly diverse, mixed-race whaling crews penetrated the far reaches of the Pacific World in pursuit of whales and other animals. In the process, they caught millions of marine animals that had significant, albeit uneven, environmental, cultural, and economic repercussions for the people located closest to the most popular hunting grounds, including the west coast of North America. Indeed, the indiscriminate hunting of whales and other marine animals contributed to the decline of these animal populations and thus to the ultimate demise of the industries that depended on them.

This talk will explore the expansion of this vital nineteenth century industry into the greater Pacific Basin, its interethnic character, and the ecological legacies that are very much still with us today.

About the Speaker:

Lissa Wadewitz is Associate Professor of History and Environmental Studies at Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon. She received her Ph.D. in U.S. history from UCLA. Wadewitz’s first book, The Nature of Borders: Salmon, Boundaries, and Bandits on the Salish Sea (2012) won book prizes from the American Historical Association, the Western History Association, and the North American Society for Oceanic History. Her current research is focused on the intersections of race, sexuality, labor, and the environment in the nineteenth century U.S. Pacific whaling fleet.   

Image credit: The Natural History of the Sperm Whale (1839) by Thomas Beale

About Hotel Oregon History Pub

Hotel Oregon History Pub

These monthly, free events are open to everyone interested in Oregon and Pacific Northwest history. Co-sponsored by like-minded historical and civic organizations, we bring you experts, scholars, first-person experiencers and historians who expound on topics from Lewis and Clark to shipwrecks, hop growing to women pioneers and far, far beyond. It's like being back in the classroom - except this time you get to settle into comfortable seats and enjoy a drink or two with dinner while you listen and learn.

This event is eligible for a History Pub Stamp