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The University of Southampton
Lifelong Learning

'Maritime Heritage: Masters, Marauders and Merchants' Study Day Event

10:00 - 16:00
8 December 2012
Building 85 Highfield Campus University of Southampton SO17 1BF

For more information regarding this event, please email Kirsty McLean at .

Event details

We will be holding a one-day cultural event on 8th December 2012, consisting of a series of short talks led by experts from within the Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute. This thought provoking and inspiring conference will provide you with the opportunity to learn and engage in discussion with academics of international distinction, and brings together many areas of our expertise into one exciting day.


'‘They Live by Trade': British trade and empire in the great days of sail'

Dr John McAleer, History 

Britain's history has been shaped by its relationship with the sea. The possibilities and profits offered by maritime trade were particularly important in defining the country's development as a global power in the Age of Sail. Britain's commercial success was built on complex and multifaceted foundations. Trade with colonies in the Atlantic Ocean, initially conducted through chartered companies, was increasingly financed, organised and operated by private merchants. Meanwhile, the East India Company, based in the City of London, jealously protected its monopoly on British trade east of the Cape of Good Hope. And all of this commercial activity relied on the protection offered by the Royal Navy. The systems of global connections and international trade created by these circumstances laid the basis for Britain's global empire and continue to affect our world today. Richly illustrated with images and objects, this lecture explores how British overseas trade went hand in hand with Britain's global empire in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

'Imagining Transatlantic Slavery'

Professor John Oldfield, History

During the course of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries millions of enslaved Africans were transported across the Atlantic Ocean and sold into slavery in the Americas. The aim of this session is to explore how transatlantic slavery has been represented over time, starting with early abolitionist propaganda of the eighteenth century before moving on to a detailed discussion of the challenges facing modern-day museums and galleries (e.g. The International Slavery Museum, Liverpool, and the Wilberforce House Museum, Hull) in representing slavery, the thinking behind current curatorial approaches to transatlantic slavery, and the success (or otherwise) of their attempts to imagine or re-imagine the 'horrors of slavery'.

'Shakespeare's Pirates'

Professor Claire Jowitt, English

Critics have long noticed the repeated presence of pirates in Shakespeare's plays and sought to explain it with, in particular, Hamlet's off-stage encounter with pirates receiving significant scholarly attention. This talk focuses on Shakespeare's depiction of pirates in a variety of plays from the first decade of James I's reign, including Twelfth Night (1600-01), Hamlet (Q1 1603; Q2 1604-05), Antony and Cleopatra (1606-07), and Pericles (1606-09). When reading pirate figures relationally it is apparent that this group of plays treat the 'meme' or trope of piracy, and unorthodox and unruly, but charismatic and compelling pirate figures, as vehicles to debate key topical dilemmas concerned with overseas expansion, changing models of masculinity, and political leadership.

'Expanding horizons in maritime archaeology' 

Dr Lucy Blue, Archaeology

The sea is viewed through multiple lenses and this lecture explores the ways in which the sea is seen by people in the past and the present through the lens of material culture. Maritime Archaeology addresses a variety of themes including landscapes, shipwrecks and seafaring. It is inherently multidisciplinary, engaging oceanography and geography, ethnography and museology, and often employs cutting edge technology.

Through example this lecture explores the multiple approaches and the range of methodologies that maritime archaeologists exploit. It also addresses some of the threats and challenges faced, particularly in developing countries where normally there is limited vision of the maritime cultural landscape, and limited resources and expertise to protect and record maritime heritage. It concludes by outlining a variety of multi-faceted means, from capacity building to commercial collaboration, that we purse in an effort to encourage research and education, change perspectives, expand horizons and reveal the value of our maritime pasts.


£30 full rate

£20 loyalty rate (Harbour Lights Members, Friends of Parkes, English Teachers Network, university staff and alumni)

£10 discount rate (students/sixth form & college students and those in receipt of income-based Job Seeker's Allowance, Income Support, Working Tax Credit, Council Tax or Housing Benefit)

All prices include lunch and refreshments


To book your place, please log into our new secure Online Store to complete the application form and make payment.

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