2020 Thomas Harriot Lecture

2020 Thomas Harriot Lecture

Thursday 28 May 2020 - 17.00 to 18.00
Oriel College, Oxford

This year’s Thomas Harriot Lecture will be given in Oriel College, Oxford by Professor Larry E. Tise on Thursday 28 May 2020. Professor Tise’s subject will be “Thomas Harriot and the Creation of America’s First Illustrated Coloring Book”.

Professor Tise, who is the former Wilbur & Orville Wright Distinguished Professor of History, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC, USA, has provided the following summary of his lecture:

Scholars of science and technology frequently lament that Thomas Harriot did not publish a great book during this lifetime. This judgment sadly overlooks the fact that Harriot wrote and published the most important illustrated exploration narrative of European expansion into the Americas. His Briefe and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia, issued in pamphlet form in 1588, was published in 1590 with 24 elegant copperplate engravings. The vivid illustrations were carefully captioned by Harriot himself and these images indelibly fixed our mental image of native Americans from the sixteenth century to the present. This book not only established the model for exploration books, it also became the first popularly hand-colored exploration narrative of the Renaissance era. These are among Dr Tise’s findings as he researched hand-colored copies of Harriot’s book around the world and worked with the great art house Taschen to publish in 2019 Theodore de Bry—America: The Complete Plates, 1590-1602 (published simultaneously in English, French, and German). 

The lecture will begin at 5 pm and be followed at 6 pm by a drinks reception for those attending. 

On this and earlier Thomas Harriot Lectures, now in their thirtieth year, see the Oriel College website at www.oriel.ox.ac.uk/about-college/news-events/events/thomas-harriot-lecture-thomas-harriot-and-creation-americas-first

For further information, contact Professor Robert Fox at robert.fox@history.ox.ac.uk or Ms Rebecca Bricklebank at rebecca.bricklebank@oriel.ox.ac.uk

All welcome.