Society for Nautical Research – Stepping down

In a couple of week’s time I’ll be formally stepping down as Member of Council and Chair of the Society for Nautical Research’s Publications & Membership Committee, a role I’ve held for five years. I was approached by SNR, following a couple of conference presentations my colleague Heather and I gave while we were researching and writing our book about the midshipmen of HMS Indefatigable, Hornblower’s Historical Shipmates.  At the time, the Society was in the process of redeveloping their website and launching new social media channels and they were looking for a committee chair with experience of both nautical history and digital media. 

I’m glad to say that the SNR’s new website, snr.org.uk, and social media presence, curated by the Society’s web editor Dr Sam Willis, have been a huge success and have helped the SNR to connect with it’s wide international membership in new ways.

Charing the committee has been an enjoyable and enlightening experience for me, though as one of the few female Members of Council it hasn’t always been plain sailing.   It’s been a privilege to meet so many highly respected scholars and historians through the Society and I’d like to thank everyone who has worked so hard for the Committee over the last five years, particularly our secretary Dr Cathryn Pearce, Nigel Blanchford, who was single handedly responsible for revitalising Topmasts newsletter, and Dr Chris Holt who has kindly agreed to replace me as chair.  It’s great to know  that the Committee will be in such good hands, and I’ll also be staying on as a regular committee member to ease the transition. Although the chair hasn’t previously rotated on a fixed term basis, we strongly believe that this will help to ensure that the Committee remains fresh and is able to attract new members. 

When Heather and I started our research six years ago, I would never have envisaged that what started off as a fun, informal project would end up with me joining such an august society. I’m grateful for having had the opportunity to work with the SNR and I’m honoured to have been made a Fellow of the Society.  I don’t generally use post nominals, but if I did, I would now be Lorna M. Campbell  MA (Hons), CMALT, FSNR.  I remain, as always, Ms ūüėČ

There and back again

Elias Pipon’s memorial to the Droits de L’Homme, CC BY Lorna M. Campbell

I’m just back from holiday and, against all the odds, our aged VW camper van made it all the way to Finist√®re and back without even a hiccup. ¬†Sadly the same can’t be said for myself. I came down with a very nasty kidney infection while travelling and had to spend the first half of my holiday in hospital in France ūüôĀ ¬†Thank god for EU healthcare. ¬†And thanks also to the medical staff aboard MV Armorique and at Centre Hospitalier de Pays de Morlaix. ¬†Due to their exemplary care my holiday wasn’t a complete wash out and I made it to the beach before the week was out.

I also managed to visit Audierne Bay, the scene of the Droits de L’Homme engagement, the 19th century frigate action that was the starting point for our research into the 1797 crew of HMS Indefatigable and our subsequent book Hornblower’s Historical Shipmates: The young gentlemen of Pellew’s Indefatigable. ¬†It was a beautiful day when we visited and the beach was crowded with families enjoying the sun and children playing in the sea. ¬†It was hard to remember that so many men lost their lives in that exact spot after the¬†Droits de L’Homme was wrecked on the shore following the engagement. ¬†Elias Pipon, an English artillery lieutenant who was a prisoner aboard the ship at the time, wrote a harrowing account of the shipwreck and 40 years later returned to Audierne Bay to erect a monument to the event. The beach now takes it’s name from Pipon’s memorial: Plage du Menhir.

Anyway, I’m now back at my desk and facing the inevitable post holiday e-mail backlog (967) and I’m also starting a new role at the University of Edinburgh today, but that deserves a separate blog post of it’s own!

Maritime Masculinities 1815 – 1940 final call for papers

And now for something completely different…

OER16 isn’t the only conference I’m organising this year, I’m also delighted to be involved with organising the Maritime Masculinities 1815 – 1940¬†conference¬†along with Professor Joanne Begiato, Oxford Brookes University, Dr Steven Gray, University of Portsmouth, and Dr Isaac Land, Indiana State University. ¬†The conference takes place at Oxford Brookes University on¬†19th- 20th December, 2016 and invites proposals on a wide range of topics including, but not limited to

Shipmates Tough and Tender. Italy c. 1925. Casas-Rodríguez Collection, CC BY NC ND 3.0

Shipmates Tough and Tender. Italy c. 1925.
Casas-Rodríguez Collection, CC BY NC ND 3.0

  • The growth of maritime empires, and cultural contact with indigenous peoples.
  • The maritime man in material culture, fashion, advertising and the press.
  • Exploration and heroism.
  • Photography, art, and film.
  • Fiction, theatre, and music.
  • Sailors in port and at home.
  • Dockyards and shipbuilding.
  • Heritage, memory, and museums.

The call for papers has already been open for several months and closes at the end of this week on 20th May. There’s still time to submit an abstract though!

Proposals are invited for short papers (20 minutes) and panel sessions (60 minutes). Abstracts of up to 250 words are invited, and should be sent to maritimemasculinities@gmail.com

The period from 1815 ‚Äď 1940 saw the demise of the sail ship, and the rise of the machine-driven steam, and then oil-powered ships. It began as a period of both naval and maritime supremacy for Britain, which was subsequently eroded during two world wars. After a century of frequent naval warfare, there was the advent of the Pax Britannica, and the phenomenon of navies which barely fought. Moreover, popular navalism emerged in advertising, pageantry, and popular literature, and was the subject of photography and then film.

Cultural ideals of masculinities also underwent considerable shifts in a period that in civilian life advocated differing styles of manliness including Christian manliness, muscular Christianity, and the domestic man, and in the armed forces deployed tropes of masculinity such as bravery, stoicism, and endurance to the extent that military and maritime models of manliness were held up as aspirational models for all men.

Further information about the Maritime Masculinities 1815 Р1940 Conference is available from the conference blog maritimemasculinities.wordpress.com

Maritime Masculinities is sponsored by Oxford Brookes University, Port Towns & Urban Cultures at the University of Portsmouth,  and the Society for Nautical Research.

German sailors and an accordion player on board Magdalene Vinnen, March 1933

German sailors and an accordion player on board Magdalene Vinnen, March 1933. No known copyright restrictions.