The Nantucket Historical Association (NHA) is pleased to present “Pacific Parallels: Marquesas Islands and the Essex Crew,” a special lecture by anthropologist Emily Donaldson, this Monday, June 15 at 6 pm at the Whaling Museum, 13 Broad Street.
From the Essex crewmen’s near brush with French Polynesia’s Marquesas Islands, to a broader history and darker stories of cannibalism, Donaldson shares her personal experiences researching the Marquesas and looks into their history and the lives of contemporary islanders and tourists.
“The NHA is thrilled to welcome Emily Donaldson to the Whaling Museum for this special evening lecture,” says Marjan Shirzad, NHA Director of Visitor Experience. “Emily’s experiences in the Marquesas, as well as her in-depth research of the islands’ history and people, is a perfect complement to our Essex-related programming this year. We can’t wait to hear tales of her latest travels and discoveries!”
Emily Donaldson has been working in and studying the Marquesas Islands for the last fourteen years. Her love of the islands began with an undergraduate field project in archaeology, a biennial program she now helps to direct. Donaldson has written several articles on Marquesan communities and their relationship to the past, in addition to publishing a phrasebook on the Marquesan language.
Her professional experience includes work as an archaeologist and as a landscape historian, and she holds degrees in anthropology from Harvard University (Bachelor of Arts) and the University of Chicago (Master of Arts). She writes a blog called Marquesan Now, and is currently finishing her doctorate at McGill University. She spent 2013 living in the Marquesas and conducting fieldwork research for her dissertation, which explores the relationship between Marquesan livelihoods, heritage, and sustainability.
The Marquesas Islands are a group of volcanic islands in French Polynesia in the southern Pacific Ocean. The Marquesas Islands group is one of the most remote in the world, lying over 800 miles northeast of Tahiti and 3,000 miles away from the west coast of Mexico, the nearest continental land mass. The population of the Marquesas Islands was 9,264 at the August 2012 census.
Admission to this lecture is free for current NHA members and $10 per person for the general public. Advance registration is recommended at www.nha.org/tickets. Doors open at 5:30 pm, with the lecture beginning promptly at 6 pm.