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Call for Papers: Centre for Port and Maritime History Annual Conference 2023

Posted: Thursday 9th March 2023

Call for Papers: Centre for Port and Maritime History Annual Conference 2023

Event date: 7-8 September 2023 

Conference Theme: Security and the Sea 

The removal of the cartographically defined High-Risk Area (HRA) on 1 January 2023 marked a pivotal moment in rethinking the navigation of risk in the Indian Ocean, Gulf of Aden, and the Red Sea as a risky and dynamic, capitalist space. From the hybrid design of the Spanish Manila Galleon for the European colonisation of the Americas, to rapidly developing drone  technology to deter Houthi attacks on UN grain vessels, physical objects, practices, and stories are important artefacts that reflect how the sea is lived and known. By interrogating human engagement with risk at sea, we can identify spaces of inclusion and exclusion, safety and insecurity, in transit and in port.

The 2023 Centre for Port and Maritime History (CPMH) Conference adopts its theme “Security & the Sea” to explore how maritime risks have been navigated in the past and how they continue to be navigated in the present (and with a view to understanding future challenges).

CPMH wish to explore the full range and scope of port and maritime risks (not limited to a single disciplinary boundary). As a result, they encourage papers which may speak to the following themes: 

• Material cultures, stories, and biographical studies exploring the navigation of risk at sea from merchant and/or military naval perspectives. 
• Unpacking the significance of maritime security artefacts (vessel design, maps, practices, and tools) past and present. 
• Governing port and maritime security; the International Ship and Port Security Code (ISPS), International Ship Management (ISM) Code, Best Management Practice (BMP) Series, and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). 
• Theorising the navigation of maritime risks in port and at sea (past and present). 
• Studies of modern and historical maritime risks, including naval operations, piracy, Illegal Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing, privateers, armed robbery, theft, migration, securing infrastructure, drones, and water-borne incendiary devices (WBIEDs). 
• Investigations of food trade patterns and disruption to the global supply chain past and present (studies on the maritime impact of the Russian War in Ukraine are particularly welcome). 
• The intersection of navigating human/ecological risks at sea.
• The role of private maritime security companies (PMSCs) past, present and future. 
• Learning from the past and creating future solutions; solving maritime (in)security. 

The best abstract and presentation by a postgraduate student will receive the Mike Stammers Memorial Prize. The best by an Early-Career Researcher will receive a prize courtesy of Liverpool John Moores University's (LJMU) Department of International Relations & Politics.

CPMH also extend an invitation to members of the maritime industry who wish to engage with the conference to maximise the richness of perspectives and opportunities that may emerge. 

To submit an abstract for this year’s conference, or to enquire about industry participation, please email a 250-word abstract to:

Dr Jess Simonds, Visiting Research Fellow LJMU/CPMH ( by Tuesday 6 June 2023.

Registration is £10 for waged and free for unwaged. This will be a hybrid event with physical hosting in central Liverpool (precise venue TBC) taking place on 7 & 8 September 2023.

Full call for papers PDF download