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.

XVIII World Economic History Congress, July 29 – August 3 2018, Boston

This gathering of the World Economic History Congress will convene 29 July – 3rd August 2018 in historic Boston and Cambridge, Massachusetts. The 18th World Congress is the second to be hosted in North America and marks the 50th anniversary of the previous occasion. At the Congress you are invited to consider the many ‘Waves of Globalization’ that have given rise to the varied and multi-directional connections that characterise the economic and social world we know today.
For more information about the Congress visit:

Mechanisms of Global Empire Building in the First Global Age

Mechanisms of Global Empire Building in the First Global Age, edited by Amélia Polónia
and Cátia Antunes, 2017.
This book maps out the crucial mechanisms of global empire building during the Early Modern period and poses at center stage global exchanges between, across and among individuals and empires. The book focuses on instances in which individuals or groups systematically looked for ways to connect beyond the territorial and institutional limitations imposed by their respective empires. In doing so, it showcases a set of clear mechanisms of individual and collective agency. They challenged, cooperated with, or represented imperial interests, in what should be perceived as a sliding scale of individual behaviours and motivations, rather than an absolute stance run by central powers. How did people connect empires and what happened to empires as a result? How did individual and collective agency contribute to the constitution of global maritime empires during the Early Modern period?

This book will answer these questions by looking at the role individuals played in the construction of ‘informal empires’, resulting from the enactment of a multitude of self-organized networks operating world-wide, whose main goal was safeguarding their personal social and economic advantages, sometimes cooperating with formal powers, frequently regardless of (and in spite of) state intervention.

British Shipping in the Mediterranean during the Napoleonic Wars

British Shipping in the Mediterranean during the Napoleonic Wars. The Untold Story of a Successful Adaptation, by Katerina Galani, Ionian University