September 30th, 2013 by

While the European historical perspective of the motivations and results of global exploration in the 16th century has been developed and recorded over the years, an opportunity to explore and develop the perspective of the complex cultures in existence along the route of the expedition is needed to further understand the impact Magellan’s voyage.

At the time of the Magellan expedition, European culture collided with other complex cultures along the way. Comparing and contrasting the world of Magellan and the world of today is relevant to the nature of the global village we now share via modern technologies.

This research will be guided by the University of Alaska’s policies governing human subjects research. The researchers for this project have completed the appropriate training provided by the Institutional Review Board of the University of Alaska.

The field research will employ two integrated social science data gathering methods. These are 1) key respondent interviews to gather qualitative information related to respondent’s knowledge and perspective on the history of indigenous cultures and European first contact and 2) key respondent interviews to gather qualitative information related to respondent’s knowledge and perspective on the impact of indigenous cultures and European contact over time.

Research Questions

1 – How has the commingling of Asian and Western cultures evolved through the Age of Adventure from Magellan’s expedition through Cook’s exploration to the continuing present day diaspora of populations of the world?

2 – What is the perspective and historical record of Southeast Asia regarding the commingling with western cultures?

3 – What anthropological factors can research identify to increase the understanding of how the population of the Philippines evolved into the only predominately Christian nation in Asia?

4 – What factors have led Filipinos to be the largest Asian minority groups in Alaska, and the second largest Asian minority group in the USA?

5 – What impacts have the Magellan expedition had on the indigenous cultures in South America, Guam, Indonesia, and Brunei?


The community outreach, research, and work done by Tony Horwitz in retracing Cook’s Expedition in Blue Latitudes and in retracing Spanish Conquistadors/Adventurers in North America in the 16th century in A Voyage Long and Strange demonstrates a model for combining research and community interface while increasing the body of historical knowledge and perspective being communicated.

Research Dissemination:

The initial project focus will be upon course work for the public middle school geography subject area and undergraduate course work in geography for meeting general education requirements at the college level.

The project will focus on providing a tele-course for the University of Alaska. As the project moves forward, further distant learning platforms will be developed. The products and services to be provided by the Magellan Foundation and will include educational programs at the public school and post secondary school levels.

A documentary of the project’s circumnavigation will also be produced. The tele-course(s) and documentary of the project will provide distance learning opportunities for both classroom and undergraduate research.

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