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MC12 Floating Spaces

Ships as Floating Transcultural Spaces

Coordination: Roland Wenzlhuemer, Alexander Zipf

Abstract

In the context of maritime history, researchers interested in cross-cultural contact and transcultural phenomena have mostly focused their attention at port cities, ocean littorals and other liminal zones. The ship has hitherto been viewed as a facilitator enabling long-distance contacts, but not as a transcultural arena in its own right (in a more general context, the same applies to the ocean itself). This project seeks to readjust this focus and direct scholarly attention to the historical actors onboard ships and the transcultural phenomena arising when (quite literally) being in transit. In doing so, it breaks new ground in both maritime as well as transcultural history and seeks to establish a new perspective on both these fields – as well as on their relation to each other.