Biennial Whaling History Symposium


Gaps in Analysis and New Perspectives on Whaling,
World Cultures, and Contemporary Issues
April 27–28, 2019

man in crows nest

Whaling history, particularly American whaling history, has largely proceeded along familiar pathways including voyage events, technology, genealogy, race and gender, social history, and the arts. The groundbreaking book by James A. Estes, et al., Whales Whaling and Ocean Ecosystems (Los Angeles, 2006) examined the effects of whaling on ocean ecosystems through the rigorous processes of the hard sciences with 31 chapters devoted to the ecological impact of whaling and its contemporary ramifications. Likewise, the Whaling and History Symposium hosted periodically by the Kommandør Chr. Christensens Hvalfangstmuseum in Sandefjord, Norway provided a rich variety of historical perspectives and published the proceedings in handsome hardbound formats. The annual Whaling History Symposium held at the Kendall Whaling Museum and later at the New Bedford Whaling Museum, also took a broad-based look at multiple aspects of world whaling history although the proceedings were never published.

With the Biennial Whaling History Symposium we will conduct a conference with similar goals to these cross-disciplinary formats, presenting broad-ranging, but highly focused scholarly insights, addressing important, but often overlooked, historical perspectives, and producing a publication.


Image Caption: Anonymous. [There she blows!], wood engraving. In J. Ross Browne, Etchings of a Whaling Cruise. New York: Harper & Bros., 1846.