The 2023 Annual Barbara A. Hanawalt Public Lecture will feature Caroline Dodds Pennock, Senior Lecturer in International History at the University of Sheffield.
History has long told the tale of Christopher Columbus’s ‘discovery’ of the Americas in 1492, but what is often forgotten is that Indigenous Americans ‘discovered’ Europe at almost the same moment. Tens of thousands of Native people crossed the Atlantic from as early as 1493, but their experiences are largely absent from popular understandings of the past.
For tens of thousands of Aztecs, Maya, Totonacs, Inuit and others, Europe comprised savage shores, a land of riches and marvels, yet perplexing for its brutal disparities of wealth and quality of life, and its baffling beliefs. The story of these Indigenous Americans abroad is a story of abduction, loss, cultural appropriation, and, as they saw it, of apocalypse—a story that has largely been absent from our collective imagination of the times.
From the Brazilian ‘king’ who met Henry VIII, to the Aztecs who mocked up human sacrifice at the court of Charles V; from the Inuk baby who was put on show in a London pub to the many enslaved people laboring in Spanish homes and workplaces: here are people who were rendered exotic, demeaned and marginalized, but whose worldviews and cultures had a profound impact on European civilization. Join Dr Caroline Dodds Pennock to hear the remarkable stories of some of the earliest Indigenous voyagers and learn how their experiences can transform popular perceptions of the past.
Signed copies of Pennock's book, On Savage Shores: How Indigenous Americans Discovered Europe (2023), will be available for purchase from Prologue Bookshop. They'll accept all cards and cash. The book is $35.50 plus tax.
Caroline Dodds Pennock is probably best known as the only British Aztec historian. Her first book, Bonds of Blood: Gender, Lifecycle and Sacrifice in Aztec Culture (2008, PB: 2011) won the Royal Historical Society’s Gladstone Prize for 2008. As well as pestering people on twitter @carolinepennock, Caroline also works as a popular history writer, consultant, and 'talking head' expert for TV and radio, having appeared on programs for broadcasters including the BBC, Channel 4, Sky, the Smithsonian Channel and Netflix.
This event is free and open to the public. Co-hosted by the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, The Department of Spanish and Portuguese, the American Indian Studies Program and the Humanities Institute.
Parking: The nearest public parking available is at the Ohio Union North and Ohio Union South Garages (North is available to visitors after 4 p.m.). For more information, follow the links to CampusParc.
The Humanities Institute and its related centers host a wide range of events, from intense discussions of works in progress to cutting-edge presentations from world-known scholars, artists, and activists, and everything in between. In our current moment of riding the unpredictable currents of the pandemic, we reaffirm the value of in-person engagement. We strive to amplify the energy in the room. But we also recognize the need to be careful and the fact that not all our guests will be able to visit our space. We, therefore, will continue to offer Zoom access to all our events upon request. If you wish to have such access, please send your request to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.