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Confronting Captain Cook: Memorialisation in museums and public spaces

National Maritime Museum Greenwich via FutureLearn


Learn about the complex and controversial legacy of Captain James Cook.

2018 marked the 250th anniversary of the departure of the Endeavour for Tahiti under the command of Captain James Cook. But, as the defacing of his statues in Australia suggests, not everyone sees the explorer’s legacy in a positive light.

In this course you’ll learn about the scientific ambition and historical context of the journeys undertaken by Cook, uncovering the complex relationships between Europeans and Pacific Islanders. You’ll also consider the impact of these voyages on our modern world and how various communities and societies relate differently to this legacy.

This course is suitable for historians and students looking to broaden their knowledge. It would also appeal to anyone with an interest in museum studies, or those interested in investigating colonialism and its legacies.

Taught by

Jo Walsh

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1.0 rating, based on 3 reviews

Start your review of Confronting Captain Cook: Memorialisation in museums and public spaces

  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    Although this course is run by the Maritime Museum, I consider that it missed opportunities and made errors of judgement. Captain Cook's exploration, discoveries, circumnavigation of the globe both ways and his cartography of New Zealand, the east coast...
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    My review seems to have been rejected. It was not good. Started off OK about Captain Cook and his journeys, exploration, discoveries and cartography ( too early to be a coloniser). Degenerated into farce. Section on Maoris and Aborigines since colonisation. (Section about defacing statues of Captain Cook and others. A section on Maori canoes was OK but put in near the end. We were asked if we had changed our minds about Captain Cook ie from good to bad. 18 refused to change against five who did. The survey asked about our feelings during the course with headings such as anger, frustration, annoyance etc. Yes, all of them.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    It started off very interesting, I always wanted to study on a course at the National Maritime Museum because I have links to great sailors such as Drake, Raleigh and Nelson. I felt sorry for Captain Cook, considering he was a great man, some learners seem to enjoy the savage way he died and there was a fascist picture of him. There was no mentors on the course and even my kinsman Sir Winston Churchill was unfairly criticized? It was the worse course I have ever taken, and it is a shame that groups like 'Historic England' were involved :(

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