MAY 19: he "Primary Seat of Derangement," Tracing a Line from the Brain, to the Stomach, to the Sea. Ian Copestake presents a talk on historical medical research in the 19th century that investigated links between mental illness, severe digestive complaints and the curative effects of the sea voyage. He looks in particular at the consequences of research on this topic by Dr. John Ware on the life and work of one patient of his, Ralph Waldo Emerson.
JULY 21 at 1 pm: Whaler, Traitor, Coward, Spy: William Rotch, the Quaker Ethic, and the Spirit of Capitalism. William Rotch had the unusual distinction of being accused of treason four times by three governments in two decades. Sarah Crabtree's talk re-examines these explosive charges, asking whether his accusers were more upset about his troublesome religion or his thriving business. Rotch's opposition to war led him to explore new whaling grounds and fishy business practices, making him one of the wealthiest and most hated men in America.
The NPS and Cal State's Maritime Academy present academics and historians in these quirky and utterly fascinating free bi-monthly lectures that delve into some aspect of the sea, from history to literature to conservation. In May, the scholar Dr. Ian Copestake focuses on 19th- century medical research that connected mental illness and digestive ills to the healing effects of a voyage on the sea.