Centre of Maritime History, Institute for Mediterranean Studies

Establishment of the new Centre of Maritime History at the Institute for Mediterranean Studies
The Institute for Mediterranean Studies of the Foundation of Research and Technology – Hellas based in Rethymnon, Crete, Greece, announces the foundation of a new Centre for Maritime History Studies headed by the Director of the IMS/FORTH Professor Gelina Harlaftis. The aim of the Centre is to expand research on a broad range of topics of Maritime History related to the areas of the Mediterranean, the Black Sea and beyond, having the global, interdisciplinary and comparative studies in the epicenter.
The Centre will provide the necessary resources for young and experienced scholars to carry out their research in a stimulating and encouraging environment. Among these resources will be digital data bases and archives, a specialized library, and a cohesive and experienced group of researchers working in maritime history. Furthermore, the Center will devote funding resources to attract talented Ph.D. students who are willing to pursue research on maritime history. The Centre will also organize workshops, conferences and lectures in order to provide academic meetings on a regular basis and opportunities for scholars to discuss research problems and questions and exchange ideas for further research development.
The first workshop titled “What is Maritime History?” to be organized by the new Centre will take place on 25-26 April 2018 where leading maritime historians will inaugurate the Centre and will discuss developments in Maritime History in the last 20 years.
The new Center of Maritime History in Crete already hosts two ongoing research projects of IMS/FORTH in Maritime History.
The first is the ERC STG 2016 project entitled “Seafaring Lives in Transition. Mediterranean Maritime Labour and Shipping during Globalization, 1850s-1920s”, directed by Dr Apostolos Delis in partnership with the Universities of Barcelona, Genoa and Aix-Marseilles, and will last from 2017 to 2021. It is worth noting that Dr Apostolos Delis is the first Greek historian to have received an ERC grant. The project explores the transition from sail to steam navigation and the effects of this technological innovation on seafaring populations in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea, between the 1850s and the 1920s, whose lives were drastically changed by the advent of the steam.
The second project is entitled “Onassis Business History” and is directed by Gelina Harlaftis, with post-doc Dr Alexandra Papadopoulou, and will run during the period 2017-2020. The project is funded by the Onassis Foundation. It is rather impressive that despite the global reach of Aristotle Onassis, there is not one extensive study of his business edifice based on archival materials and not one to analyze the scope and impact of his entrepreneurial activity in Greece or abroad, either of his shipping business, or of Olympic Airways. In this way, the aim of this research project is twofold: the creation of the Onassis Archive and the writing of Onassis Business History.