Port City Lives: Mobilities, Networks, Encounters

Port City Lives: Mobilities, Networks, Encounters
29-30 June 2012 | Blackburne House, Liverpool, UK

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 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.


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

  • Theories and methodologies
  • Cultural representations
  • Travel and tourism
  • Imperialism and decolonisation
  • Trade and other exchanges
  • Globalisation
  • Networks
  • Homes and interiors
  • Microhistories
  • Material cultures
  • Crime and social control
  • The business of port/ports of business
  • First-person accounts
  • Everyday life
  • Museums and heritage
  • Languages, slang, bilingualism

Please send a 250-word abstract by 30 April 2012 to Dr Joanna Long: jclong AT liv.ac.uk

For all other inquiries, please visit http://portcitylives.wordpress.com