Felipe Fernández-Armesto
M.A., D.PHIL, D.LITT., F.S.A, F.R.Hist.S.

(Fecha actualización: 18 de octubre de 2003)

Personal Data
University distinctions
Current Editorial Responsibilities
Current Teaching Responsibilities

Personal Data

42, Bedford Court Mansions, London WC1B 3AA

Telephone [0044] [0]207 637 1617
e-mail <FELIPE.FERNANDEZ-ARMESTO@history.oxford.ac.uk>

Queen Mary, University of London, London E1 4NS

Telephone [0044] [0]207 882 5016
e-mail <F.F.R.Fernandez-Armesto@qmul.ac.uk>

Born London, December 6th, 1950

married Lesley Patricia Hook 1977
2 sons

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1969-76 Magdalen and St John's Colleges, Oxford

College distinctionsinclude:Demyship, 1969-72;Selig Prize, 1970;Ellerton Exhibition, 1971;Atkinson Prize and Senior Mackinnon Scholarship, 1972

Proceeded B.A. 1972, M.A. 1976, D.Phil. 1977

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University distinctions

Arnold Modern History Prize 1971;President of the Stubbs Society, 1971;First-class Honours, Final School of Modern History, 1972;Senior Scholar of St John's 1974-6; D.Phil, thesis selected for Oxford Historical Monographs,1977 (published 1982)

Further Academic Distinctions include:

2002 Premio de Investigación, Sociedad Geográfica Española

2000 Professorial Fellow of Queen Mary, University of London

1999 The John Carter Brown Medal

1997 Hon. D. Litt., La Trobe University The Caird Medal of the National Maritime Museum, London

1994 F.S.A.

1992 Commendation of the Library Association of the United Kingdom for an outstanding work of reference

1981 F.R. Hist. S. Leverhulme

Research Fellowship Apointments (and Distinguished and Visiting Apointments) include:

2003 Professor of Global Environmental History, Queen Mary, University of London and Director of the Programme in Global History, Institute of Historical Research, U. of London

2000 Professor in the Departments of History and Geography, Queen Mary, U.of London;

2002 Faculty, World Economic Forum and European Technology Forum

1983 Member of the Faculty of Modern History, Oxford University

2000 (for a short term) Union Pacific Visiting Professor, University of Minnesota

1999- 2000 Fellow of the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences

1997-8 Andrew W. Mellon Senior Visiting Research Fellow at the John Carter Brown Library

1992 Visiting Professor at a National Endowment for the Humantities Summer Institute at the John Carter Brown Library

1990 Visiting Professor, University of Warwick

1981-90 Fellow of St Antony's College, Oxford (Research Fellow, Director ofSpanish Studies 1983-9)

1984-6 Visiting Senior Lecturer, University of Warwick

1982-3 Temporary Lecturer, University of Warwick

1981-2 part-time Assistant Master, Charterhouse

1976-81 Assistant Master, Charterhouse (Master of Scholars, School Librarian, Keeper of Archives, House Tutor)

1974-76 Senior Scholar, St John's College, Oxford

1975-6 part-time Lecturer, University College at Buckingham

1974-5 special research assignment on the Spanish Sahara question, Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores, Madrid, and Embajada de España, London

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[Most books have apeared in various editions and numerous translations.Normally only the first edition in the original language is given below, except in cases of major revisions, where the most recent edition is given:]

In press

'The Portuguese Empire in Global Context, c. 1400-c. 1800', in F. Bethencourt and D. Curto, eds, The Portuguese Empire (Cambridge, Cambridge U.P.)

'Maps and Exploration in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries' - a chapter for D. Woodward, ed., History of Cartography, iii (University of Chicago P.)

'World History and Maritime History', Proceedings of the World Marine Millennial Conference,ed. D. Finamore (Salem, Mass., The Peabody-Essex Museum)

'Conversion in Global Context: from Late Antique to Early Modern', in C.B. Kendall, O. Nicholson and W.D. Phillips, eds, The Conversion of Peoples: a Late Antique, Medieval and Early Modern Christian Phenomenon (Cambridge, Cambridge U.P.)

So You Think You're Human: a Brief History of the Concept of Humankind (Oxford, Oxford U.P.)


Shifting Communities and Identity Formation in Early Modern Asia, ed., with L. Blussé (Leiden University Studies in Overseas History)

The Americas: a Hemispheric History (Modern Library Chronicles, New York, Random House) (UK edition, The Americas: a History of the Hemisphere, London, Weidenfeld)

Ideas (London and New York, Dorling Kindersley)


'Reconnaître les civilisations: les contacts entre cultures dans l'histoire mondiale et le rôle de l'altérité', in J. Baubérot et al., eds, Les Civilisations dans le regard de l'autre (Paris, UNESCO, 2002), p. 221-33

'Los imperios en su contexto global', Debates y perspectivas, II, 27-46

'What is History Now?' in D. Cannadine, ed., What is History Now? (London, Palgrave), p. 148-61

'A European Civilisation: Is There Any Such Thing?', European Review, x, 3-13


Food: a History (London, Macmillan) (US edition, Near a Thousand Tables: a History of Food, New York, Free Press, 2002; IACP Prize for best writing on food, 2002; various translations in press)

'Writing - and Re-writing - the Millennium', Index on Censorship, XXX, 160-7

'A Role Without an Empire: Problems of Super-power Status in the Twentieth Century', in J. Guest, ed.,The American Century from Afar (Melbourne, The Boston,Melbourne, Oxford Conversazioni, 1999), p. 49-62.

'Continuity and Discontinuity in the New World in the Sixteenth Century', The James Ford Bell Lectures, no. 40 (Minneapolis, Associates of the James Ford Bel Library)

(Editor) Armchair Athenians: Essays from Athenæum Life (London, The Athenæm)

(Editor) England 1945-2000(vol. xii of the Folio Society History of England, London, The Folio Society)

(Joint editor, with Andrew David, Carlos Novi and Glyndwr Williams) The Malaspina Expedition, 1789-94, i (The Hakluyt Society, London)


Civilizations(London, Macmillan;US edition: Civilizations: Culture, Ambition andthe Transformation of Nature [Free Press,2001]; various translations in press)

'La monarquía de Felipe II a la hora de su muerte,' in A. Bethencourt, ed., Felipe II, el Atlántico y Canarias (Las Palmas, Cabildo Insular)

'The Indian Ocean in World History', in A. Disney and E. Booth, eds,Vasco da Gama and the Linking of Asia and Europe (Delhi, Oxford U.P.)

'The Origins of The European Atlantic', Itinerario, XXIV, no. 1, 111-28.

'The Improbable Empire', in Raymond Carr, ed., Spain: a History(Oxford, Oxford U.P; Spanish edition, Madrid, Grubner, 2001), p. 116-51.

'The Stranger-Effect in Early Modern Asia', Itinerario, XXIV, no. 2, 80-103.


'The Empire of Philip II: a Decade at the Edge'(London, The Hakluyt Society)

'European Naval Warfare after the Viking Age, c. 1100-c.1500', in Maurice Keen, ed., Medieval Warfare: a History (Oxford, Oxford U.P.), p. 230-52.

'Time and History', in K. Lipincott, ed. The Story of Time (London, National Maritime Museum and The Old Royal Observatory), p. 246-9.

'Visiones del fin del siglo XVII en España', in R. Carr and J.P. Fusi, eds, Visiones de fines de siglo en España, (Madrid, Taurus), p. 65-92.

'Introduction' to E. Halévy, Edwardian England (London, Folio Society)


'Exploration and Discovery', in C. Allmand, ed.,New Cambridge Medieval History,vii (Cambridge, Cambridge U.P.)

'O Mundo dos 1490', in D. Curto, ed., O tempo de Vasco da Gama (Lisbon, Conselho Nacional para as Comemorações dos Descobrimentos Portugueses)

'Las identidades británicas', in R. Luis Acuña, ed., La porfía de los nacionalismos(Madrid, Universidad Complutense)

'Introduction' to R. Porter et al., England in the Eighteenth Century(London, Folio Society)


Truth: a history (London, Bantam and [1999] New York, St Martin's Press) [various further editions in translations]

Religion(London, Weidenfeld & Nicolson) [reprinted 1998 in J. Gribbin et al., The Future Now: predicting the 21stCentury (London, Weidenfeld); various further editions in translations]


(with Derek Wilson) Reformations (New York, Scribner, and London, Bantam) [various further editions in translations]

'Renaissances: Asian and Other', in M. Rajaretnam, ed., José Rizal and the Asian Renaissance (Kuala Lumpur, Institut Kajian Dasar)

'The Sea and Chivalry in Late Medieval Spain', in J.B. Hattendorf, ed., Maritime History, i: the Age of Discovery(Malabar, Krieger)

'Spanish Atlantic Voyages Before Columbus', ibid.

'Introduction' to G.R. Elton, England under the Tudors (London, The Folio Society)


Millennium: a history of the last thousand years (New York,Scribner, and London, Bantam) [revised printings withnew prefaces 1996 and 1999 (London, Bantam) and numerous further editions in translations]

The Times Illustrated History of Europe (London, Times Books)[revised printing 1996]

'Inglaterra y el atlántico en la baja edad media', in A. Béthencourt Massieu et al., Canarias e Inglaterra a través de la historia(Las Palmas, Ediciones del Cabildo Insular)

(Editor) The Global Oportunity (Brookfield, Vt and Aldershot,Variorum)

(Editor)The European Oportunity(Brookfield, Vt and Aldershot,Variorum)[this and the preceding title formed the first two volumes of the series edited for Variorum by A.J. Russell-Wood, An Expanding World.]

'Rewriting History', Index on Censorship,iii[reprinted in 1997 in Index's twenty-fifth anniversary volume]


(Editor)The Times Guide to the Peoples of Europe(London, Times Books) [various edns in translations;various further printings and second edition (London, Times Books), 1997]

'The Contexts of Columbus: myth, reality and self-perception', in A. Disney, ed., Columbus and the Consequences of 1492 (Melbourne, La Trobe U.P.)

'Introduction' to W.H. Prescott, The History of the Conquest of Mexico (London, The Folio Society)

(with Mark Almond, Jeremy Black, Rosamund McKitterick and Chris Scarre) The Times Atlas of European History (London, Times Books) [various editions in translations]


'The Survival of a Notion of Reconquista in late tenth- and earlyeleventh-century León',in T. Reuter, ed., Warriors and Churchmen in the High Middle Ages: essays presented toKarl Leyser(London, Hambledon)

Columbus on Himself (London, The Folio Society)

'Aztec' Auguries and Memories of the Conquest of Mexico', Renaissance Studies,vi

'Introduction' to M. Jacobs, Blue Guide: Barcelona (New York, W.W. Norton, and London, A. & C. Black)

'Introduction' to Alvise da Mosto, Questa e una opera necessaria  tutti li naviganti (New York, Scholars' Facsimiles & Reprints)


Columbus(New York and London, Oxford U.P.) [various further editions and translations, including a revised printing (London, Duckworth, 1996)]

Barcelona: a thousand years of the city's past(London, Sinclair-Stevenson) [Revised printing 1992 (New York and Oxford,Oxford U.P.)]

(General Editor) The Times Atlas of World Exploration(New York,HarperCollins, and London, Times Books)[various translations]

Edward Gibbon's Atlas of the World(London, The Folio Society)


'Armada Myths: the formative phase', in P. Gallagher and D. Cruickshank, eds, God's Obvious Design (London, Tamesis)


'Cardinal Cisneros as a Patron of Printing', in D. Lomax and D.Mackenzie, eds, God and Man in Medieval Spain: essays in honour of J.R.L. Highfield(Warminster, Aris & Phillips)


The Spanish Armada: the experience of war in 1588 (New York and Oxford, Oxford U.P.)


Before Columbus: exploration and colonisation from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic, 1229-1492 (Philadelphia, U. of Pennsylvania P., and London, Macmillan) [various further editions and translations]

'Introduction' to Edward Gibbon, The History of the Decline andFall of the Roman Empire, V (London, The Folio Society)


'Atlantic Exploration before Columbus: the evidence of maps', Renaissance and Modern Studies,xxx[reprinted in G. Winius, ed., Portugal, the Pathfinder(Madison, 1995)]


The Canary Islands after the Conquest(Oxford, Oxford U.P.)[edition with new Preface (Las Palmas, Cabildo Insular), 1998 (Spanish)]

'La financiación de la conquista de Canarias durante el reinadode los Reyes Católicos',Anuario de estudios atlánticos, XVIII

'Medieval ethnography', Journal of the Anthropological Societyof Oxford, XIII


'Nueva aportación documental sobre Agustín de Béthencourt y Molina y su familia', Anuario de estudios atlánticos, XXVII

[In addition, book reviews and review articles by me apear frequently in the scholarly press, especially in English Historical Review and International Affairs. I have made many contributions to works of reference, including pieces for American Dictionary of Biography, Britannica Online, Contemporaries of Erasmus, The Dictionary of Art, New Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Arts and The Times Atlas of World History,4th ed.]

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Current Editorial Responsibilities

Joint Editor-in-Chief (with Andrew David, Carlos Novi and Glyndwr Williams), The Malaspina Project of the Hakluyt Society(a large international collaborativework, involving scholars from eight countries).

Member of the Editorial Board for volume iii of 'Harley and Woodward' (the University of Chicago Press's History of Cartography).

Member of the Editorial Committee of Studies in Overseas History (Leiden University)

Joint Editor (with James Muldoon), An Expanding World: the Medieval Background (a forthcoming Variorum series of collected landmark papers)(Ashgate Press)

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Current Teaching Responsibilities:

at Oxford: an annual course, normally of eight lectures, primarily for first-years undergraduates, on a selection of early colonial texts from central Mexico, Yucatán and Peru, with occasional suplementary lectures on ethno-historical sources;

at Queen Mary, University of London:in history, a one-semester M.A. course on'Thresholds of Savagery: European Encounters with 'Primitives' and Apes from Zurara to Darwin' anda one-semester undergraduate course on 'Native American Peoples and the Experience of Conquest'; from 2002: a two-semester undergraduate course on 'Asia in the Making of the Modern World, c. 1400-c.1800';from 2003: the core course and optional courses in the MA programme in Global Imperial History; in geography, an M.Sc. module on 'Globalisation: the Historical Background' and a one-semester undergraduate course on 'Environment and Civilisation';

at the Insititute of Historical Research, London:convening and chairing the Global History Seminar; extensive duties as an examiner and mentor and supervisor of research work at both universities and widely elsewhere as an external examiner.

Major recent edowed and plenary lecturing engagementsinclude:


The Bindoff Lecture, Queen Mary, University of London: 'Fat: a History,' 11th March


The Paleislezing, 'The VOC and the World', Noordeinde Palace, The Hague, 18th December

Cunninghame Graham Lecture, 'The Americas: Comparative Hemispheric History,'  Edinburgh University, 27th November

Opening Plenary Lecture, 'Civilisations: Has the Best Won?' European Technology  Forum, Alpbach, August 24th

Plenary Lecture, 'Fat and Civilisation', Oxford Food Symposium, 6th September

Keynote Address: 'Historical Ecology and the Limits of Recovery: Cases and Conclusions,' 13th Annual CEMERS Conference, Binghamton U.


Dr S.T. Lee Distinguished Lecture in the Humanities: 'What is History Now?', University of Pennsylvania, November 28th

Keynote Address: 'Civilisations et l'Histoire', Conference of the École Pratique des  HautesÉtudes and UNESCO, Paris, December 13th

Keynote Address: Conversion: First Impact, Conference at the University ofMinnesota, May

Keynote Address: 'Highways of Taste: Routes ofCultural Exchange in EurasianHistory', The Ninth Newport Symposium, February


The Annual James Ford Bell Lecture, University of Minnesota, October: 'Continuity and Discontinuity in the Sixteenth-century New World'

Keynote Address: Annual Sixteenth-century Studies Conference, Cleveland,November: 'The World in the Sixteenth Century'

Keynote Address: 200th anniversary Conference of the Peabody Essex Museum,April, 2000: 'World History and Maritime History'

'The Galactic Museum and the Real Museum' - for the Ashmolean Museum's Campaign, Oxford, February, 2000.


The first Annual Frank Sargesson Memorial Lecture, Auckland Writers'Festival, New Zealand  'A Role Without an Empire: Problems of Modern Super-powerstatus', Melbourne, The Boston-Oxford-Melbourne


'Continuidad y ruptura en los orígenes del imperio español', Fundación Duques de Soria

'The Future of Religion', Plenary Address to the World Conference onReligion and Peace, Amman

'Who's Civilised? Problems in the Classification of Societies', NIAS

Lecture, The Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study, Wassenaar


A Masterclass on 'East and West before Vasco da Gama', LeidenUniversity

The Caird Annual Lecture of the National Maritime Museum, 'Oceans in World History'

Cátedra Unesco lecture, Universidad Complutense de Madrid,'Identidades británicas'

Annual Associates' Lecture of the John Carter Brown Library, 'The World Around Vasco da Gama'

Plenary Lecture at the Mediterranean Studies Association Conference, Lisbon, 'The Atlantic, the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean: contexts for understanding Vasco da Gama's first voyage'

Round Table with Nadine Gordimer and Colin Bandy on 'Southern Africa and South America', The University of South Africa, Pretoria


The John H. Parry Memorial Lecture, Harvard University, 'An Oceanic History of the World'

Opening Lecture on 'Art, Trade and Empire' at the Newport Symposium

Two Plenary Lectures, on 'The Indian Ocean in World History' and 'The World of the 1490s' in Melbourne and Fremantle, at the Vasco da Gama QuincentenaryConference at La Trobe and Curtin Universities

The Independent Annual Lecture at the Cheltenham Festival ofLiterature on 'Truth: a History'


'Renaissances: Asian and Other' at Princeton University at the invitation of the Davis Center and the Departments of History and Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies

Index on CensorshipAnnual Double-Lecture at De Balie, Amsterdam, on 'Re-writing History'

Opening Lecture on 'A JCB Journey: from Europe, via the Atlantic, to the World' at the 150th Anniversary Celebrations of the John Carter Brown Library  'Being Anglo-Spanish': the Annual Address of the Anglo-SpanishSociety, London

Plenary Lecture on 'The Future of Socialism' at the MillenniumConference of theSocialistisk Venstreparti, Oslo

(Among other venues where I have given talks or public interviews or chaired panel discussions by invitation over the same period are Columbia U., Georgetown U., Yale U., the A.N.U. Canberra, the U. of Minnesota, the U. of Texas - Austin, the University ofSouth Africa, Cambridge University, Manchester University, the Institute of Historical Research, the Instituto Cervantes, the PEN Literary Foundation, the Society of Antiquaries, the British Museum, Cardiff Museum, the Royal Festival Hall - London, The National Theatre - London,Canning House, the Institut Kajian Dasar of Kuala Lumpur, the Institute of Ideas, the University Club of Brussels, the Seascapes Conference organised by the Nederlands Economisch-Historisch Archief at NIAS, the Congreso Internacional de Hispanistas and Coloquio Canario-americano at the Casa de Colón - Las Palmas, the Asociación de Juristas Hispano-británica, Wilton Park, Eton College, the Edinburgh International Television Festival, the Auckland, Edinburgh, Hay, Rye, Hull and Cheltenham Literary Festivals and the Cambridge History Festival.)

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apears frequently in the National Press, including op-eds in The Times,The Independent, The Evening Standard and The Independent on Sunday,features in The Sunday Timesand The Spectator, a bi-monthly column for ABC cultural in Spain and reviews, especiallyin The Times, The Sunday Times, The Independent, The Independent on Sunday, The Economist, Literary Review, The Times Literary Suplement and The New York Times.Work has apeared by way of syndication in over a hundred countries and has also originated in El Mundo, El País, Blanco y negroand O Correo galegoin Spain. Occasional pieces have apeared in, for example, Apollo,The Art Quarterly, History Today, New Statesman, the New York Times,The Toronto Globe and Mail, The Observer and Priests and People, while broadcasting includes work as a regular presenter of Radio 4's flagship current affairs programme Analysis since 1999; regular guest presenter (and screenwriter) on BBC 2's history and current affairs magazine programme, Leviathan, many apearances on the major Radio 4 and Radio 3 arts and current affairs programmes; panellist on the BBC World Service's International Question Time, Outlook and Agenda; other screenwriting and presenting for television has included Channel 4's Confessions of an Arms Dealer,BBC 2's Henry V and Drake's Last Voyageand contributions to BBC 2's series, Armada,which won a TONY award, as well as writing the underlying work for the ten-part series Millennium: a Thousand Years of History,for CNN and the BBC and jointly devising, planning and writing the programmes.

Voluntary work includes organising organising numerous symposia and exhibitions, including events for Charterhouse, the Hakluyt Society, The Institute of Historical Research, the Bodleian Library and the British Council, and currently or recently:


Honorary Director of the Hakluyt Society's Sesquicentennial Apeal

1997 - 9 Co-opted Member of the Committee of the American Friends of the Hakluyt Society

1997 -Member of the Helen Wallis Memorial Fellowship Panel

2001 -Trustee, PEN Literary Foundation, Chairman of Trustees, 2003

2003 -Co-opted member, Executive Committee, English PEN  Chairman, 2003 -

2003 -Member of Council of the Hakluyt Society

Member, International Slow Foods Awards Jury

Member, AXA-Art Newspaper Prize Jury

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