University Of Tasmania
139555 - The Sealing Industry and the Architecture of the Tasman World - AAM.pdf (218.44 kB)

The sealing industry and the architecture of the Tasman world

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-20, 15:25 authored by Mein Smith, P
This paper forms part of a collaborative project that aims to reframe the architectural histories of Australia and New Zealand by producing the first connected history of early colonial architecture in the Tasman World, a concept defined connectively as a working region of traffic across the Tasman Sea. In the early nineteenth century the Tasman World denoted a sub-set of imperial ventures between the south-eastern Australian colonies and pre(proto)-colonial New Zealand that were also linked commercially to British India and to imperial encroachments in China. Avoiding nationalist frameworks, the project expects to show how the earliest colonial architecture in “our” region was an outcome of the industries that brought into being and shaped the colonial world. Seal hunting was foremost among these early European industries, providing the first export profits for the British colony of New South Wales. Yet the legacy of the sealing entrepreneurs based in New South Wales (here termed “sealer dealers”) and their frontier gangs of seal hunters remains unexamined in architectural history. Using historical methods, this paper argues that the sealing industry, while ephemeral in time, was foundational in place-making by establishing the Tasman World’s early-colonial built environment from the 1790s to about 1830.


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Copyright 2019 The Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand

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