Please note that this is a hybrid event and will be recorded.
In this talk, Professor Lars Eckstein will focus on the discovery of a so-called wind positioning system, or te nohora’a te mata’i, which the Ra’iātean master navigator Tupaia shared with one of Captain Cook’s officers in 1769. Polynesian wind positioning systems were integrated conceptual models for navigation which combined and set into relation knowledge about the seasonal progression of winds with knowledge about the sun, moon and stars, swell patterns, and other natural phenomena typically conceived of as ancestral presences. Professor Eckstein will try to give life to Tupaia’s te nohora’a te mata’i by bringing the available historical sources of the Endeavour archive into relation with the living navigational knowledge of Taumako in the eastern Solomons. His main reference here is the teachings of Chief Koloso Kaveia’s te nohoanga te matangi, as recorded by Marianne ‘Mimi’ George.
About the speaker
Professor Lars Eckstein received his PhD (2004) and 'Habilitation' (2008) from the University of Tübingen, Germany. In 2009, he joined the English Department of the University of Potsdam (near Berlin) as Chair of Anglophone Literatures and Cultures. A lot of his work in Potsdam has been collaborative, conducted and published together with his colleagues in Potsdam. He was vice-president of GAPS (Association for Anglophone Postcolonial Studies) between 2012 and 2015. Since 2016, he has been co-spokesperson of the Research Training Group (DFG Graduiertenkolleg) minor cosmopolitanisms, a programme focussing on PhD training conducted in close collaboration with partners in South Africa, India, Australia and North America. His main research project over the past years has focussed on the figure of Tupaia, a Polynesian master navigator who joined the crew of Captain James Cook on his first voyage to Oceania.