Call for Papers: Cutty Sark 150th Anniversary Conference

April 2019

Global Trade, Global Lives: the Merchant Navy Since the Nineteenth Century

2019 marks 150 years since the launch of Cutty Sark. Over her long life, the ship has formed part of Britain’s vast merchant fleet, and later provided the setting for training new generations of mariners. Cutty Sark now stands as a memorial to the Merchant Navy and a national museum site, shaping how we understand maritime trade and the human experience of being at sea.

Credit: NMM PAD6475

This conference, held at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich on 7-8 November 2019, will take the opportunity offered by Cutty Sark’s 150th anniversary to provide a forum for interdisciplinary research and new perspectives on the merchant marine from the nineteenth century to the present day.

The organisers welcome submissions from academics, local historians, museum professionals and community group projects. Proposals can be submitted on themes including, but not limited to:

  • Life at sea in the merchant marine
  • The experiences and social lives of maritime communities ashore
  • The imperial and global networks and movement of people, commodities, and ships involved in the merchant service
  • Technological change, both past and future, and its impact on merchant shipping and crews
  • The merchant marine at war
  • Memory and memorialisation of the merchant marine
  • Cultural representations of the merchant marine
  • Issues facing merchant shipping now and in the future

Please submit proposals of 200 words for individual papers, along with a short CV to

Deadline for submissions: Wednesday, 1 May 2019

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