Institute for Mediterranean Studies
Seafaring Lives at the crossroads of Mediterranean maritime history

Seafaring Lives at the crossroads of Mediterranean maritime history

Abstract

This paper is about Seafaring Lives in Transition, Mediterranean Maritime Labour and Shipping, 1850s–1920s (SeaLiT), an international research project funded by the ERC Starting Grant 2016. SeaLiT started in February 2017 and has a duration of five years. The project explores the transition from sail to steam navigation and its effects on seafaring populations in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea between the 1850s and the 1920s. In the core of the project lie the effects of technological innovation on seafaring people and maritime communities, whose lives were drastically altered by the advent of steam. The project addresses the changes through the actors, seafarers, shipowners and their families, focusing on the adjustment of seafaring lives to a novel socio-economic reality. It investigates the maritime labour market, the evolving relations among shipowner, captain, crew and their local societies, life on board and ashore, as well as the development of new business strategies, trade routes and navigation patterns. The project offers a comparative perspective, investigating both collectivities and individuals, on board the ships and on shore in a number of big and small ports from Barcelona up to Odessa, in the Black Sea.

https://doi.org/10.1177/0843871420924240