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Home » Michael Robinson: A Theory You’ve Never Heard Of at TEDxUniversityofHartford (Transcript)

Michael Robinson: A Theory You’ve Never Heard Of at TEDxUniversityofHartford (Transcript)

Michael Robinson

Here is the full transcript of  historian of science and exploration  Michael Robinson’s TEDx Talk: A Theory You’ve Never Heard Of at TEDxUniversityofHartford conference. 

Michael Robinson – Historian of Science and Exploration 

Today, I’m going to be talking about a theory you’ve never heard of, and hopefully by the end of it, you’ll think, as I do, that it really is something that nobody talks about, and yet it has changed the world and continues to change the world. It’s called the Hamitic hypothesis.

It’s an idea that developed over hundreds of years, became very popular in the 19th century, but continues to affect parts of the world today, particularly Africa. It’s the subject of a book that I’ve written, that will be coming out in a couple of months, called The Lost White Tribe: Explorers, Scientists, and the Theory that Changed a Continent.

This story – Well, I should tell you, I’m a historian of exploration, and that’s my job. I look at explorers, expeditions, and cultural encounters with people around the world, and why people think these expeditions are so important, back home.

And this story of the lost white tribe, which I’m going to be talking about, and the Hamitic hypothesis, really grew out of a book I wrote about ten years ago called The Coldest Crucible, and that was about Arctic exploration. And in a way, I never would have imagined that this book about the Arctic would have led me to the project I’m working on now, because this book is about the Arctic, and the Hamitic hypothesis is really about Africa, but it actually grew out of part of that earlier topic I was writing about Arctic exploration.

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