Maritime History & Culture Seminars at The Institute of Historical Research, University of London, Senate House, London WE1E 7HU
Convenors: Aaron Jaffer and Lizelle de Jager
All seminars begin at 17:15 in Wolfson Room I at the Institute, except: 26 October – Chancellor’s Hall at 17:30
Professor Marcus Rediker, University of Pittsburgh
The Maritime Origins of Abolition: The Case of Benjamin Lay, Quaker and 'Common Sailor'
Marcus Rediker is Distinguished Professor of Atlantic History at the University of Pittsburgh and author of The Many-Headed Hydra (2000, with Peter Linebaugh), Villains of All Nations (2004), The Slave Ship (2007), and most recently The Fearless Benjamin Lay: The Quaker Dwarf Who Became the First Revolutionary Abolitionist (2017).
Ian Murphy, National Museums Liverpool
Curating the ‘Black Salt: Britain’s Black Sailors’ exhibition
Ian Murphy, Deputy Director & Curator, will speak about curating this ground-breaking exhibition.
The last object in the museum
Jack Avery, University of Bristol & The National Archives
Julia Binter, University of Oxford
Callum Easton, University of Cambridge
Katherine Gazzard, National Portrait Gallery & University of East Anglia
Anna McKay, University of Leicester
Hannah Stockton, Queen Mary, University of London
Maya Wassell Smith, University of Cardiff
23 January 2018
Professor Sir Barry Cunliffe, University of Oxford
On the Ocean: The Mediterranean and the Atlantic from Prehistory to AD 1500
20 February 2018
Dr Caroline Withall, National Maritime Museum
The forgotten boys of the sea: Marine Society merchant sea apprentices, 1772-1854
24 April 2018
Laika Nevalainen, European University InstituteFrom sailors’ chests to sailors’ homes: Finnish seamen and domesticity in the early 20th century
22 May 2018
Daniel Simpson, Royal Holloway & The British Museum
‘Cannibals’, ‘Savages’ and pronouns: the strange world of British naval encounter in Australia and the Torres Strait, 1842-1850’
Between 1842 and 1850, British expeditions to the Torres Strait and northern Australian regions strayed into strange and dangerous waters. An earlier discovery, at Aureed Island in 1836, of a mask decorated with the skulls of shipwrecked Europeans set the tone for two decades of paranoid and often hysterical investigations into the nature and character of local indigenous peoples.
Dr Daniel Simpson will explore the efforts made by sailors from HMS Fly (1842-1846) and HMS Rattlesnake (1846-1850) to understand Aboriginal Australian and Torres Strait Islander peoples. These ranged from an emerging ‘ethnological’ specialism, grounded in the study of indigenous pronouns, to peculiarly British attempts to bribe supposedly cannibalistic peoples with tea and biscuits.
Dr Simpson’s research shines a light on the social, political and practical considerations which underpinned imperial intrusion into a chaotic and since-neglected region.
19 June 2018
Professor Andrew Lambert, King’s College London
Constructing the seapower state: culture, identity and exceptionalism
Professor Andrew Lambert examines the conflict of ideas between seapower states and their continental contemporaries, and the longer term contrasts that recur across time. He argues that seapower identity is a construct, closely connected with inclusive political models wherein which major economic actors have a share in political power, an identity sustained and celebrated in monumental maritime architecture, art and literature. These dynamic, progressive states have alarmed and alienated contemporary continental autocracies, especially those attempting to impose a universal monarchy, and a terrestrial monoculture.
Please join us for a wine reception in the IHR’s Common Room after the seminar.