Resurfacing: Shipwrecks in Art, History and Archaeology

October 2022

11-12 November 2022. For further details and to book please click here:


Day 1 (Friday 11 November): at Royal Museums Greenwich

9:30           Registration and coffee

10:00                   Welcome to Royal Museums Greenwich and introductory remarks

Material History

10:30               Keynote: Elsje van Kessel (University of St Andrews) – “Losses that bring grief to stones” The Carreira da Índia and the shipwreck of things

11:15                   Break

11:30                   Jeremy Michell (Royal Museums Greenwich) – The Gibson Collection

12:15               Kelly Presutti (Cornell University, US) – Agglomerations and Obelisks: Material Histories of a Shipwreck in France and New Caledonia

13:00               Discussion

13:15                  LUNCH (not provided)

History of ideas

14:15               Keynote: Marcia Pointon (University of Manchester) – The involved spectator and the shipwreck in early nineteenth-century England

15.00               Johannes von Müller (Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel) – A world gone shipwreck: The ghostly presence of a colonial history in Aby Warburg’s Picture Atlas

15:45               Break

16.00               Jonathan Rayner (University of Sheffield) – World War II History, Imperial Navy Shipwrecks and Japanese Cinema

16:45               Till Julian Huss (University of Europe for Applied Sciences, Berlin) – The Metaphorics of Shipwreck: An Inquiry into an Art-Historical Metaphorology in the Wake of Hans Blumenberg

17:30                   Discussion

18:00                   Public event (details tbc) &         Reception (details tbc)

Day 2 (Saturday 12 November): at Senate House, University of London

9:30           Coffee

10:00               Welcome to the warburg institute


10:15               Keynote: Henning Trüper (Leibniz Zentrum für Literatur- und Kulturforschung, Berlin) – Modern Moral Meanings in Shipwreck Imagery

11:00               Sara Rich (Coastal Carolina University, US) – What is there to do when you find an old Indian canoe? Anticolonialism in maritime archaeology

11:45                   Break

12:00               Victor Claass (Institut national d’histoire de l’art, Paris) – Sunken Art, Drifting Empires

12:45               Caecilie Weissert (Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel) – Self-scuttling as a shipwreck

13:30                   Discussion

13:45                   Lunch (not provided)


14:45               Keynote: Michael Diers (HFBK Hamburg & Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin) – BRIDGE THE GAP. Shipwreck in contemporary art

15:30               Ben Pollitt (Courtauld Institute, London) – From Wreck Reef: Resurfacing Westall’s Views of Australia

16:15               Oliver O’Donnell (Warburg Institute, London) – Europe on the Docks: George Bellows in the National Gallery of Art, London

17:00               Closing discussion


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