Maxine Berg, professeur d’histoire à Warwick University (History Department), présentera sa communication « Value and Exchange at Nootka Sound: Alexander Walker’s Global Microhistory 1785-6 » le jeudi 7 décembre 2017 de 17h30 à 19h30. Maison de la Recherche, 28 rue Serpente, 75006, salle D421.
« This seminar paper will take us to a small obscure and far-away place on the Northwest Pacific Coast of North America – Nootka Sound. It has a very local history as a place of seasonal residence and ceremony for the Mowachaht people, a group within the larger Nuu-chah-nulth language category, dating back over 4,000 years. It also has a wide global and international history as the site of a sea otter trade linking Britain, India and China as well as Russia, Spain, France and the USA to this coast. Europeans first encountered the peoples of Nootka Sound in the 1770s: a Spanish ship, the Santiago, anchored briefly near the coast in 1774, and Captain Cook spent an extended period there on his third voyage in 1778. It was the site of an international incident in 1790 – the Nootka Crisis between Spain and Britain, and the place of the Nootka Conventions of 1790-94 settling codes over claims to territories and leading into the settlement of borders between the U.S. and British Columbia.
This paper investigates accounts of events of a trade in sea otter furs for iron and copper as conveyed by Europeans between 1774 and 1792, and especially the account provided by Alexander Walker in 1786. Walker’s account takes me to the heart of connections between the Pacific and an East India Company trade between the Pacific and the Indian Ocean and East Asia. This paper approaches the Nootka Crisis from a methodology of ‘global microhistory’, and from the framework of ‘locality’ and ’interstitial spaces’ in global history. »