Crossroads Research

‘Insolence and Pride’: Problems with the Representation of the South-East Asian Portuguese Communities in Alexander Hamilton’s ‘A New Account of the East Indies’ (1727), by Stefan Halikowski-Smith

February 23, 2024, 13:00 CET. Online via MS Teams.

One of the most influential European printed sources on South-East Asia at the turn of the eighteenth century was the Scottish sea-captain Alexander Hamilton’s memoirs. The picture he paints of the Portuguese communities that had existed since the period of Portuguese ascendancy in the sixteenth century is overwhelmingly negative. But a close textual and empirical analysis of his text shows that not only was he frequently misinformed in terms of the historical developments relating to that community, but that he merely conforms to a set of standard rhetorical tropes we can associate with the Black Legend, which had grown up in Protestant countries of northern Europe since the 16th century to denigrate Portugal and her achievements. In this talk it is urged that this key text consequently be used with far greater circumspection than has hitherto been the case.

Stefan HALIKOWSKI-SMITH is an Associate Professor at Swansea University, where he teaches early modern world history. His books include: ‘Creolization and Diaspora in the Portuguese Indies, 1640-1720’ and ‘Two Missionary Accounts of Southeast Asia in the late Seventeenth Century. A Translation and Critical Edition of Guy Tachard’s Relation de Voyage aux Indes (1690–99) and Nicola Cima’s Relatione Distinta delli Regni di Siam, China, Tunchino, e Cocincina’.

To register for the talk, please send us an e-mail.

You May Also Like

Moananuiākea: Pacific Explorations Revisited, by Uluwehi Hopkins

June 21, 2024, 19:00 CET. Online via MS Teams. This presentation conveys evidence that Pacific seafarers traveled to the Americas,facilitating interaction between themselves and the…

Sea nomads or nautical societies? Correcting colonial myths and the illusions of state-centered historiography, by Jennifer Gaynor

April 26, 2024, 14:00 CET. Online via MS Teams. Southeast Asian sea nomads attracted the interest of colonial observers and continue to draw the attention…

Wrecked: Navigating Colonialism in the Graveyard of the Pacific, by Coll Thrush

March 29, 2024, 18:00 CET. Online via MS Teams. Drawn from a forthcoming book, this talk examines the history of colonialism on the northwest coast…