Orser, Charles E. jnr.
Charles E. Orser jnr. is a professor of anthropology at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, specialising in post-Columbian history.*He is the author of many books and papers, which are listed on his extensive CV(d).*
Somewhat incongruously he is frequently put forward(a) as an “Atlantis expert” although he is extremely sceptical of its reality. *How you can be an expert on something that you don’t believe exists is an interesting question!*
He achieved global fame in February 2009 when he was again introduced by the media as ‘one of the world’s leading experts on Atlantis’. The same media endeavoured to suggest that Dr. Orser supported the idea that the apparent grid-like pattern discovered that month with Google Ocean on the Atlantic floor west of the Canaries was associated with Atlantis. However, when pressed in a radio interview he revealed that in his opinion the Atlantis story was just a ‘morality tale’ concocted by Plato and is quoted similarly in a National Geographic article(c). He is currently writing a critical assessment of the work of Ignatius Donnelly, depicting him as the instigator of today’s Atlantis ‘industry’. Orser is convinced that Donnelly’s perennial book on Atlantis was stimulated by the writings of Jules Verne and is now seeking the sources of Verne’s inspiration to determine if they were anything other than Plato’s original dialogues.
Orser is the author of a valuable bookon the interplay between race and archaeology. He opens his study with a chapter on the perception in previous centuries of the Irish as an inferior race, a perception that led to the infamous “NO BLACKS OR IRISH” signs outside some British boarding-houses as recent as the mid-20th century. Orser explores the racial undertones that have coloured theories relating to the likes of the American Mound Builders, the Celts and Atlantis.
Orser is currently (2013) an adjunct professor at the National University of Ireland in Galway and has written on the Irish Famine(b).
*He is also founder and editor of International Journal of Historical Archaeology.*