Seaports have always been gateways of globalization. In the second half of the twentieth century, the rising volume and complexity of global trade flows profoundly changed the way seaports operated. Major economic trends, from the rise and fall of energy sources such as coal or oil, the deregulation and geographical reorientation of global trade, the establishment of just-in-time production processes and other new work routines, or the evolution of the modern service economy, left their mark on the ports.
This international conference at the Forschungsstelle fur Zeitgeschichte in Hamburg/Germany is supposed to take stock of research results on the history of seaports since the 1950s, stimulate cooperation between ongoing projects, and identify current research trends.
Papers may discuss but are not limited to the following topics:
- Changes in port economy and logistics, including the organization of labor;
- Consequences of technical innovations in shipbuilding and cargo handling;
- Changes in port governance and financing at transnational, national, regional, and local political levels, including inter-port competition, cooperation, and network-building;
- Conflicts of goals between port development and other policy areas such as the environment;
- Changes in the spatial dimension of ports, including the advent of offshore terminals, and the rehabilitation and utilization of former port areas for other purposes;
- Consequences of political and economic turning points such as the beginning of the Cold War, the economic crises of the 1970s, or the watershed of 1989/90 for seaports;
- Changes in the public image, including the “festivalization” of ports and urban waterfronts.
Preference will be given to proposals addressing issues in a larger historical context or from a comparative point of view even if engaged in local or case studies. As far as possible, topics of maritime and port history should be embedded in general economic and political developments of the last decades. Proposals from scholars working on broader topics of globalization, transnational history, urban history, transportation history, etc. are encouraged. Papers from disciplines such as economics, transportation studies, or geography with a distinct historical focus are welcome.
Proposals for papers of 20 minutes (abstract of max. 300 words and a brief C.V., including postal and e-mail address) should be sent by e-mail to the convener, Dr. Christoph Strupp, at: email@example.com no later than July 5, 2013. The conference language is English. Travel and accommodation expenses of the participants will be covered by the FZH.
The conference is made possible by a grant of the Behoerde fur Wissenschaft und Forschung der Freien und Hansestadt Hamburg (Hamburg Ministry of Science and Research).
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