25 June 2012

Tentative schedule for the SHD Annual Meeting–Pasadena, California September 28-30, 2012

SHD Annual Meeting – Pasadena, California
September 28th – 30th, 2012


  • Breakfast on your own at Hilton.
  • Registration: Remaining packets will be taken from the hotel to Friends Hall for distribution.
  • Coffee, teas, and breakfast pastries will be available from 8:30-12:00, Friends Hall
Welcome and Opening Remarks 9:00-9:10 Ron Fritze and Bill Warren

Session I (9:10-10:20): PACIFIC – THE EXPEDITIONS

  • Pflederer, Richard - Magellan, the Pacific Ocean and the Search for the Anti-Meridian
  • Harreld, Donald - Strategies and Identities: Dutch Expeditions through the Strait of Magellan, 1598-1618
Coffee/Tea Break

Session II (10:35-11:45) : PACIFIC – THE CREWS

  • Flannery, Kristie - “Everyone a mutineer”: the crisis of maritime labour in Spanish voyages of discovery and conquest in the Pacific, 1564-1566
  • Delaney, John - Endeavour in Australia: Crewing with Cook
Lunch 12:00-13:00

Session III (13:00-14:10): LATIN AMERICA

  • Brunelle, Gayle - The Assassination of the Sieur de Royville and the Debacle of the Compagnie de l’Amerique Equinoxiale, 1653-1656
  • Mullan, Anthony - The Comisión Corográfia and Colombia’s Quest for Identity

Session IV (14:10-15:20: NORTH AMERICA

  • Buisseret, David - The Influence of Marquette and Jolliet on the Mapping of North America
  • Olcelli, Laura - The Denied Search for the North-West Passage: Alessandro Malaspina at the Service of “the nation that has taken me as one of its own!”

Coffee/Tea Break

Session V (15:40-16:50): TRANSATLANTIC CONTACTS

  • Francaviglia, Richard - Discovery and Faith: Re-examining Claims about Pre-Columbian Muslims in America
  • Herbert, Francis - The Hakluyt Society’s publications and the Americas: maps and membership from the 1840s

Annual SHD Business Meeting 17:00-17:45

Reception 18:30-19:30 (at the Pasadena Hilton, site of the Annual Dinner)

Annual Dinner and Presentation on SHD 2013 in Tampa, FL

Keynote Address
Dr. Peter C. Mancall, University of Southern California Professor, Director of the USC-Huntington Early Modern Studies Institute, and author of five books including Fatal Journey: The Final Expedition of Henry Hudson, and Hakluyt's Promise.


  • Coffee, teas, and breakfast pastries will be available from 8:30-12:00, Friends Hall


  • Altic, Mirela - Missionary Cartography of Tarahumara
  • Ortiz, Ann - Epistolar Representation of Fray Junípero Serra in Francisco de Palóu’s Relacion Historica de la Vida y Apostolicas Tareas del Venerable Padre Fray Junipero Serra (1787)
  • Dellinger, Justin (Winner of Essay Competition) - La Balise: A Transimperial Focal Point

Coffee/Tea Break

Session VIII (11:00-12:10): AFRICA

  • Van Duzer, Chet - On Second Thought: Cartographic Corrections to the Shape of Africa on Medieval and Renaissance Maps
  • Hogarth, Donald - Robert Rich Sharp (1881-1958): prospector, engineer, and discoverer of the Shinkolobwe, Katanga, (Congo) radium-uranium ore-body

Closing Remarks by Ron Fritze and Bill Warren

22 June 2012

2012 SHD Essay Prize Winner

The Course of the Mississipi River, 1759

We are pleased to announce that the winner of this year's SHD essay contest is Justin T. Dellinger, Ph.D. student at the University of Texas at Arlington, for his paper, "La Balise: A Transimperial Focal Point."  Mr. Dellinger plans to present his paper at this year's Annual Meeting in Pasadena.

Abstract: "La Balise: A Transimperial Focal Point"
From the late seventeenth through the early nineteenth century, the mouth of the Mississippi River became a place of imperial competition.  The British, French, and Spanish all sought to control this outlet, which effectively served as the gateway to the heart of North America.  Initially, Europeans had little understanding of what encompassed the entire Mississippi River Valley, but they did understand the importance of controlling major river systems for political, economic, and military reasons.  Economically, controlling the Mississippi River would mean that any major trade in the larger region would funnel down to its mouth.  As the French established control of this region, what they would call La Louisiane, they constructed a post called la Balise to serve as both an access point and a buffer for inter-imperial contact.  Balise means seamark or beacon in French, so its name is very appropriate since it became such an important focal point.  Although its original significance was political, economic, and military for French policy makers, the Balize later took on a larger meaning for the mouth of the Mississippi River.

This settlement is understudied and more work needs to take place researching this frontier within a frontier.  It never had a large population, it proved difficult to fortify, and it constantly faced obliteration from hurricanes, yet the Balize became a well-known, recognized location.  Seventeenth- through nineteenth-century maps provide an important visual representation of this phenomenon.  As this period progressed, maps illustrated the shift from the use of terms such as “embouchure”, “boca”, and “mouth” to “Balise”, "Baliza”, and “Balize”.  Larger scale maps depicting continental North America, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Caribbean also evince how the Balize flanks and complements New Orleans as the distinct names along the Gulf Coast.  Both points illustrate the transimperial understanding of the role of the Balize as toponym for the mouth of the Mississippi River.

Biographical information
Justin T. Dellinger is a second-year doctoral student at the University of Texas at Arlington.  He received his Bachelor’s Degrees in History and Spanish from the University of Texas at Austin in 2004.  After teaching for a few years, he returned to school and earned his Master’s Degree in History at the University of Texas at Arlington in 2010.  His primary area of study is eighteenth-century Louisiana, employing transatlantic and cartographic approaches in his research.

More on the annual meeting can be found here