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Conference: Port City Lives: Mobilities, Networks, Encounters, Liverpool, 29-30 June 2012‏

As vibrant and dynamic urban centres, as nodes in long histories of colonialism and globalisation, and as zones of interaction and exchange, port cities have been important sites of research in the humanities and social sciences. This two-day workshop conference, organized by the Centre for Port and Maritime History and to be held in the historic port city of Liverpool, will bring together researchers from across the social sciences and humanities who work in and on port cities, to discuss current and future research into the communities and individuals who have inhabited these complex social and cultural spaces of encounter.


Port city research has a long history across various academic disciplines. Building on this vibrant tradition, the workshop aims to foment a critical discussion about the interdisciplinary potential of the port city as a space of encounter and a hub in multiple, intersecting histories and geographies. A key aim of the workshop is to bring together participants from across academic disciplines, geographical and historical specialisms, in order to think together about how we might develop new theoretical and methodological frameworks for studying port cities through attention to the individuals, communities and networks that inhabited them.

Potential topics might include (but are not limited to):

theories & methodologies

trade & other exchanges


first-person accounts

cultural representations


material cultures

everyday life

travel & tourism


crime & social control

museums & heritage

imperialism & decolonisation

homes & interiors

the business of port/ports of business

languages, slang, bilingualism

Want to participate?

Proposals are invited for both individual and joint presentations on Port City Lives throughout history and across the world, with no chronological or geographical limitation. We especially encourage methodological and theoretical reflections, as well as informal presentations of current research projects, at whatever stage of development. We are open to a range of formats, including poster presentations, data demonstrations, roundtables, and project overviews. Please send a 250-word abstract by 30 April 2012 to Dr Joanna Long (jclong AT