Candidate Profile

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Anthropology & Cultural Studies
History - Art & Culture
History - General
History - Social
Professor Marie Conte-Helm has lectured extensively on the arts and culture of Asia, both in the UK and abroad, and is an experienced cruise speaker and a Resident Historian with Viking Ocean Cruises. She is also an accredited Arts Society (formerly NADFAS) lecturer and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. Professor Conte-Helm holds higher degrees in the History of Art and in Asian Art. Her research interests cover the artistic relationship and economic and cultural encounters between East and West. She is widely published and has written books on the economic and cultural encounters between Japan and Europe.

In addition to lecturing on Japan, China, Korea and Southeast Asia, she is able to offer lectures on the wider Asia-Pacific region and on the history of trade and exploration.

Professor Conte-Helm has most recently served as Executive Director of the UK-Japan-21st Century Group. From 1999 to 2011 she was Director General of the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation, the largest UK charity supporting links between the two countries. In the course of her academic career, she has been Reader in Japanese Studies and Director, East Asian Developments at Northumbria University, Newcastle, where she subsequently held a Visiting Professorship. She has also been Reader in Japanese Studies and Head of the Japanese Studies Division at the University of Sunderland.

In 2009 Professor Conte-Helm was honoured with the Japanese Foreign Minister’s Commendation ‘for outstanding contribution to relations between Japan and the UK’. She was awarded an OBE in the 2011 Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to UK-Japan educational and cultural relations.
1. The Art of Travel: Picturing the East
A pictorial tour of early encounters between Europe and Asia from Marco Polo, the early Voyages of Discovery and the Spice Trade, to intrepid Victorian travellers in the East.

2. Sunken Treasures from the East: Tales of Oriental Shipwreck Porcelain
Tales of Oriental export porcelain, shipwrecks, lost cargoes and salvage operations in South East Asian waters and the South China Sea.

3. Captain Cook's Voyages: The Art and Science of Exploration
The story of Captain Cook’s voyages to the Pacific between 1776 and 1779 and the official artists and scientists who accompanied him, recording the people, places, flora and fauna encountered along the way.

4. Introducing the Arts of Southeast Asia
Exploring the melting pot of Southeast Asia and the spread of cultural influences between East and West, along the maritime trading routes.

5 .Signs and Symbols in Buddhist Art
Reading signs and symbols in Buddhist art, tracing the origins of Buddhism in India and its impact on the arts across Southeast Asia and the Far East.

6. Exploring the Arts of East Asia: China, Korea and Japan
An introduction to aspects of the language, history and culture of China, Korea and Japan and their shared cultural ties.

7. The Arts of China: Tradition, Continuity and Change
Tracing China's past from the Terracotta Warriors to lacquer, jade and porcelain, the arts and crafts of China and the impact of foreign contact.

8. Travellers Among Mountains and Streams: Masterpieces of Chinese Landscape Painting
An invitation to explore Chinese landscape painting through the ages, the materials and methods of the great masters, and the relationship between man and nature in art.

9. The Arts of Japan: Highlights of Japanese Art and Culture
An introduction to the arts and crafts of Japan, including highlights of painting, sculpture and the decorative arts through the ages.

10. The Art of the Japanese Garden
A tour of some of Japan's most famous gardens, exploring the influences on Japanese garden design as it has developed throughout the ages.

11. The Great Age of the Shogun: Art and Culture in Edo Period Japan
From castle architecture to golden screen painting, ukiyo-e prints, textiles, lacquerware and netsuke, an introduction to the arts of the Edo period.

12. Dressed to Thrill: The Art of the Japanese Kimono
From everyday wear to wedding kimono, to the elaborate dress of Japanese geisha, the story of the Japanese kimono and the traditions of Japanese textile design.

13. Japanese Art and the West: Encounters and Exchange
The story of the re-opening of Japan to trade in the mid-19th century and the impact of Japanese prints on the Impressionist and Post-Impressionist painters.

14. Isabella Bird: A Victorian Lady Traveller in the East
Tracing the exotic travels of the intrepid Isabella Bird from the 1850s, this talk provides insights into changing modes of travel and the history of cruising from the mid-19th century.
Wide experience of speaking on round the world and other cruises in the Far East and Southeast Asia, including cruises with Cunard, Windstar, P&O, Voyages of Discovery and Fred Olsen. Resident Historian with Viking Ocean Cruises since 2018.

2018: Viking Orion, Resident Historian, Bangkok, Bali and Beyond, 18-30 November, Bangkok to Bali
2018: Viking Orion, Resident Historian, Southeast Asia and Hong Kong, 4-18 November, Hong Kong to Bangkok
2018: Windstar, Star Legend, 26 September - 6 October 2018, Tokyo to Osaka
2018: Cunard, Queen Elizabeth Q809-10, 15 March - 31 March 2018, Osaka to Hong Kong
2017: Cunard, Queen Elizabeth Q711/712, 13 March - 26 March 2018, Kobe to Hong Kong
2015 Fred Olsen, Balmoral L1501, Sector 4, 14 February 2015 - 1 March 2015, Kuala Lumpur to Tokyo
2014 Cunard, Queen Elizabeth, World Cruise Sector, Shanghai to Hong Kong, 25 March 2014 - 28 March 2014
2014 Voyages of Discovery, My Voyager, 19 January 2014 - 4 February 2014, Hong Kong to Tokyo
2012 P&O, Arcadia, Cruise J201-3, 16 February 2012 - 25 February 2012, Hong Kong to Osaka
Marie has dual UK and USA citizenships.
The following recent Cruise History has been recorded for this candidate.
Viking Orion OR181118 Bangkok, Bali & Beyond 12 Bangkok (from Laem Chabang) Sunday, November 18, 2018
Viking Orion OR181104 Southeast Asia and Hong Kong 14 Hong Kong Sunday, November 4, 2018
Queen Elizabeth Q810 Japan to China Cruise 4 Osaka Thursday, March 22, 2018
Queen Elizabeth Q809 Japan and Korea Cruise 7 Osaka Thursday, March 15, 2018
Queen Elizabeth Q703-715 World Cruise 2017 120 Southampton Saturday, January 7, 2017
Balmoral L1501 Far East Explorer 119 Southampton Sunday, January 4, 2015