The next New Researchers Conference will be held virtually on 12-13 March 2021

This event is now fully booked! 

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New Researchers Conference

Research degree students and independent scholars are warmly encouraged to share their work at our annual New Researchers Conference.

New Researchers in Maritime History Conference

At this annual conference, the British Commission supports emerging scholars who wish to share their work in a supportive environment and build relations with other maritime historians. We encourage applications from research degree students and warmly encourage participation by independent scholars. Contributions can address all aspects of maritime history in its broadest sense.

It is held in the spring of each year, and the location moves around Britain, as the conference is hosted by a variety of universities and museums and is sponsored by the Society for Nautical Research. 

New Researchers Conference 2021 ONLINE EVENT, 12-13 March

The BCMH, invites you to join us for the twenty-sixth conference for new researchers. The event will be held virtually for the first time via Zoom and is now fully booked.

About this Event

Supported by the Society for Nautical Research, the Conference gives new researchers a unique opportunity to present their work in a constructive and supportive environment and build relations with other maritime historians. This year it is wholly on-line and free to everyone with an interest in this subject.

Read the updated programme with abstracts here

Friday 12th March

15:00 Welcome introduction, Dr Cathryn Pearce, Chairman, British Commission for Maritime History

15:10 Doing Maritime History in the Age of Covid-19 

A roundtable of academics led by Dr James Davey (University of Exeter) and Dr Richard Blakemore (University of Reading): A discussion with leading maritime historians on the practical and methodological challenges – and opportunities – prompted by the Covid-19 pandemic. It will consider the impact on scholars, how we might mitigate against the continued limited access to archives, and how the last 12 months might shape the future of the discipline. Joining them will be Dr Sara Caputo (University of Cambridge), Dr David Morgan-Owen (Kings College London) and Professor Ruth Schilling (Deutches Schiffartes Museum, University of Bremen, and Carl von Ossietzky University, Oldenburg).)

Saturday 13 March

10:00 - 11:30 Session One: Mercantile Maritime History - Chair: Professor Maria Fusaro, University of Exeter

Opening welcome: Dr Helen Doe, Vice Chair, British Commission for Maritime History

Peter Phillipson, (University of Hull)
Pioneering quality assurance and risk mitigation: the contribution of Lloyd’s Register to improvements in the safety of merchant shipping, 1834-1881

Toslima Khatun, (SOAS)
Carolingian Connections to the Arab Indian Ocean Trade

Mark Hoskin, (Greenwich University)
The lifespan of English shipping to Asia in the 17th century

12.00 - 13:30 Session Two: Naval History - Chair: Dr James Davey, University of Exeter

Jeremy Young (University of South Brittany, France)
Forced to serve, a comparative study of the manning of the war fleets in France and Great-Britain

Jayne Friend, (University of Portsmouth)
The Royal Navy, British culture, propaganda and opinion, 1939-1945

Oluchukwu Ignatus Onianwa (University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria)
British Royal Navy Training Team and Anglo-Nigerian Naval Training Agreement during the Nigerian Civil War, 1967-1970

14:00 - 15:30 Session 3: Archaeology - Chair: Professor Harry Bennett, University of Portsmouth

Esther Bancroft, (University of Bristol)
Salvaging representational objects at sea

Suzanne Marie Taylor (Birkbeck, University of London)
A Little Ship with a big anniversary: Honouring M.L.286-Eothen, in the 80th Anniversary of Operation Dynamo

John Schofield, (Independent)
London's Waterfront 1100 to 1666

16:00 - 17:30 Session 4: Fish and Ice - Chair: Professor David Starkey, University of Hull

Kunyan Zheng (Trinity College, Dublin)
The Expanding English Encounters with the Marine Atlantic World: Perceptions of Marine Fish in English Travel Accounts, 1560-1610

Efstathia Dorovitsa (University of Hull)
Tracing the Norwegian Ice Trade in North and Northwestern France 1870-1920: Reception, Controversies and The Politics of the Trade

Benjamin Jennings (University of Hull)
Norwegian natural ice as a driver for modernisation in Britain 1822-1898

17:00 Closing Remarks: Professor Richard Harding, Vice Chairman, British Commission for Maritime History


This free on-line conference featuring new research in maritime history is open to everyone interested in the subject and it is supported by the Society for Nautical Research. Please note that the online event is now fully booked.



The 2020 new researchers due to take place at Chatham Historic Dockyard had to be postponed, we hope to invite you to a physical conference again later in 2021. 





For more information about the Conference, please write to our New Researchers Coordinator.

The Commission supports a clear Code of Conduct during its events.

See details of previous New Researchers Conferences

ss Great Britain, host of the 2018 New Researchers’ Conference

ss Great Britain, host of the 2018 New Researchers Conference

Floating exhibits Swansea cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Chris Allen -

Swansea – location for our 2009 New Researchers Conference