With Professor Andrés Reséndez, the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum (SBMM) presents “Conquering the Pacific: An Unknown Mariner and the Final Great Voyage of the Age of Discovery” with University of California, Davis history professor Andrés Reséndez on Thursday, February 16, 2023 at 7:00 pm. As part of his presentation Dr. Reséndez will discuss his latest book, Conquering the Pacific and tell the little-known story of the first trans-Pacific expedition. Cost is free for SBMM’s Navigator Circle Members, $10 for all other members, and $20 for members of the public. There will also be a pre-lecture reception for members only from 6:15-6:45pm. Register here and become a member here.
When asked about his presentation, Reséndez described the subject of the story as follows: “A Genoese navigator brought the New World to European attention in 1492. A similar ‘Columbian moment’ occurred in the Pacific, even though most people are unaware of it … Polynesian navigators first crossed the great ocean by island-hopping from the coast of China to the Americas; and Magellan was the first European to go from the New World to Asia in one swoop during his famous voyage of 1519-1522. But the complete trans-Pacific voyage—from America to Asia and back (“the vuelta”)—only first occurred in 1564-1565 under the guidance of an Afro-Portuguese pilot. Known to just a few specialists, this dramatic expedition finally turned the largest ocean on Earth into a vital space of human contact and exchange.” Reséndez’s presentation will offer a narrative of this secret, no-expenses-spared undertaking.
About Our Speaker
Andrés Reséndez is an author and history professor at the University of California at Davis, where his research is focused on early European exploration and colonization of the Americas and the early history of the Pacific, including the voyages of discovery. Reséndez grew up in Mexico City and earned his bachelor’s degree in international relations at el Colegio de México and his doctorate in history at the University of Chicago. Before assuming his current position at UC Davis, he was active in politics, served as a consultant for historical soap operas, and taught at Yale, and the University of Helsinki (Finland).
Conquering the Pacific: An Unknown Mariner and the Final Great Voyage of the Age of Discovery, which was released in 2021, is about the first expedition to sail from America to Asia and back, transforming the Pacific Ocean into a vital space of contact and exchange. His previous book, The Other Slavery: The Uncovered Story of Indian Enslavement in America (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016), was a finalist for the 2016 National Book Award and winner of the 2017 Bancroft Prize from Columbia University. His previous books include A Land So Strange: The Epic Journey of Cabeza de Vaca and Changing National Identities at the Frontier: Texas and New Mexico, 1800-1850. He is a currently a Carnegie Fellow as well as a distinguished fellow at the Huntington Library.
This event is generously sponsored by Marie L. Morrisroe.