November 2020 marked 500 years since Portuguese mariner Ferdinand Magellan sailed through the strait at the southernmost tip of the Americas that now bears his name as part of the first circumnavigation of the globe (1519-22). Providing Europe with a new route to Asia, the Strait of Magellan became an important strategic location that attracted the interest of numerous nations throughout the early modern period and beyond.
In the wake of this significant anniversary, this conference aims to unite new and diverse critical perspectives on the Strait, its surrounding regions, and the Pacific spaces that it brought into European view for the first time, across a broad time frame. This event seeks to avoid the triumphalist commemorative narrative typifying many celebrations of this anniversary, and provide a space that privileges alternative, decolonial and emerging research that continues to question the tropes of barrenness and desolation that have long been associated with Patagonia. By welcoming scholars working across fields as diverse as environmental history, historical geography, visual culture, and Latin American politics, we hope to shed further light on the contested nature of Patagonian space and how it has been understood by different peoples at different times. We also seek to continue the important work that is already being done by Latin American scholars in particular that speaks to the significance of Patagonia and its indigenous peoples in the history of the Americas and of the world.
For the full programme and sign-up information, please visit https://www.ucl.ac.uk/institute-of-advanced-studies/events/2021/mar/online-conference-dire-straits-patagonia-and-magellan-circumnavigation-500
Online, hosted by the UCL Institute of Advanced Studies and the Institute of Historical Research, University of London