Centre for Port and Maritime History

The Centre for the Port and Maritime History is a collaborative venture between Liverpool John Moores University, Merseyside Maritime Museum and the University of Liverpool.

In this section, you’ll find an overview of the Centre, in addition to information about the work the Liverpool John Moores University members have undertaken as part of this joint enterprise. To learn more about the Centre for Port and Maritime History as a whole, please visit the Centre’s website. To find out information about our events and conferences see our events page. If you would like to stay up-to-date with our latest news and events, please contact Dr Simon Hill to join our Port Studies mailing list.

The Centre undertakes historical research on port cities and examines their relationship to maritime ventures and enterprise. More specifically, the Liverpool John Moores University members of the Centre conduct research into:

  • Marketing and advertising in the British merchant marine
  • Liverpool shipping and decolonisation in the twentieth century
  • Liverpool and the British Empire in the eighteenth century
  • Art and the maritime environment
  • Oral history and life story narratives in maritime occupations
  • Maritime education and rejuvenation in Liverpool

Members of the Centre for Port and Maritime History were included in Liverpool John Moores University’s REF 2021 submissions for Unit of Assessments in History, English and Art and Design, in which over 70% of publications were rated internationally excellent or world leading.

Recently, the Centre for Port and Maritime History was involved in a collaboration with the Elder Dempster Pensioners’ Association. This collaboration, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, created an online collection of oral histories and ephemera, which records the history of Elder Dempster Lines and the history of British shipping to West Africa during the twentieth century. Cataloguing of additional archival material is in progress with a view to digitisation in collaboration with the Merseyside Maritime Museum.  

Another key project is Visual Voyages. This Merseyside Maritime Museum funded project analysed the marketing strategies of the British shipping companies from the late-nineteenth to the late-twentieth centuries. In examining the UK shipping industry during this period, particularly through a focus on the industry’s poster art, Visual Voyages represents a new approach to maritime history. As part of the project, conference papers were created, one of which has been published as a journal article. Members also helped to organise Sail Away – an exhibition held at Merseyside Maritime Museum.

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Dr David Clampin

David Clampin is Subject Leader for History at LJMU and a member of the Board of CPMH. David’s research, related to maritime history, is concerned with the marketing of the British merchant marine from the 1870s through to the 1970s. This builds on previous work in the field of marketing history, brought into focus in collaboration with Merseryside Martime Museum and their 2014 exhibition, Sail Away. Liverpool Shipping Posters (with White). Underpinning research was published in the Journal of Historical Research in Marketing, “Is it essential that a steamship company’s poster must have a ship?”: The shortcomings of British shipping posters c.1840 to c.1970, Vol. 9 Issue: 4 (2017), pp.386-424.

Dr Graham Gladden, Visiting Research Fellow

Graham’s research in maritime history is concerned with the social and cultural histories of shipping lines. His particular interests relate to the lines’ understanding of their passengers’ needs and aspirations and the translation of that understanding into marketing communications and ship interior design.

Publications include:

‘Maslow’s model of needs: application to Cunard and White Star marketing communications between 1900 and the 1950s’, Journal of Historical Research in Marketing’, Vol.12No.3, 2020 pp. 323-344.

‘Marketing Ocean Travel: Cunard and the White Star Line, 1910–1940’, The Journal of Transport History, June 2014, Vol.35(1), pp. 57-77. In Press:

‘Post WWII trans-Atlantic travel for business and pleasure: the Cunard shipping line and its airline competitors’, Journal of Transport History. ISSN 0022-5266.

Dr Simon Hill, Visiting Research Fellow

Dr Simon Hill is a Sessional Lecturer and Visiting Research Fellow at Liverpool John Moores University and a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Chester. His research focuses on eighteenth century Liverpool - especially its ties to the 'empire of the seas'. As a result, Simon has conducted research into Georgian Liverpool's ties to trans-Atlantic slavery, privateering and ship-building. Simon is currently researching Liverpool's ties to the Greenland and Southern whale 'fisheries'. 

Recent Publications include:

S. Hill, ‘The Politics of Liverpool’s Northern Whaling Trade 1750-1823’ Mariner’s Mirror, 104, 4 (2018), 439-55.

S. Hill, ‘The Socio-Cultural Impact of the War of American Independence upon Liverpool 1775-1783’, Journal for Eighteenth Century Studies, 40, 2 (2017), 163-80

S. Hill, ‘The Liverpool Economy during the War of American Independence, 1775-1783’, Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, 44, 6 (2016), 835-56.

Dr Clare Horrocks

Clare Horrocks is Senior Lecturer in Media, Culture and Communication and a member of the CPMH Board. Within the field of maritime history, Clare’s interest is in the social and cultural history of Cunard.

Recent Exhibitions & Presentations

Life on the Ocean Wave, April 22 – July 8 2015

Clare was senior curator of the exhibition which showcased over 200 items of Cunard ephemera in celebration of 175 years of Cunard.

Three Queens Celebration Event, Merseyside Maritime Museum 24-26 May 2015. 

Clare collaborated with fellow LJMU, CPMH members in a rolling programme of papers connected with the history of Cunard liners on advertising (White), interior design (Roberts) and fashion (Horrocks). This was followed on Monday 25 by an open session led by Horrocks, Roberts and White in which they fielded questions from the public.

Shulah Jones, Postgraduate Student

Shulah Jones is head of Business Strategy at Hugh Baird College and Project Director and Founder of the Port Academy Liverpool.  Shulah is currently studying for a PhD at LJMU on ‘Reciprocity and Mutuality: A Study into the Emergence of a New Maritime Economy in the Liverpool City Region’.

Dr Emma Roberts

Dr. Emma Roberts is Associate Dean for Global Engagement in the Faculty of Arts, Professional and Social Studies at LJMU.  She is also Programme Leader of BA History of Art & Museum Studies, is a practising Art Historian and an Enrichment Lecturer on board cultural cruise lines.  Emma’s research interests, related to maritime history, are focused upon Cunard Line and its interior design and acquisition of art works.  Additionally, she is interested in the history of art works associated with the sea and shipping, which extends even to folk art and maritime antiques.  A theme throughout Roberts’ work within maritime studies is an interest in space and its transformative potential (liminal, carnivalesque, hedonistic, for example).

Notable publication on maritime history include:

Roberts, Emma (2020) ‘The Superliner and Liminal Space’ in: Braasch, B.  & Schnurmann, C.  (2020) Off Shore.  Perspectives on Atlantic Pleasure Travel Since the 19th Century (Atlantic Cultural Studies, Vol.12), Lit-Verlag, Hamburg.  (ISBN- 13 978-3-643-91246-6)

Roberts, Emma (2016), ‘Edward Carter Preston's Figurehead of Admiral Nelson' in: Sculpture Journal.  vol.  24, issue 2, 2015, pp.  83-99.  ISSN: 136-2724 / 1756-9923.  (This article is available freely here: Open Access )

Dr Jo Stanley, Visiting Senior Research Fellow

Jo Stanley

FRHistS, FRSA, Assoc RINA, is Visiting Senior Research Fellow in the History Department at LJMU, and Honorary Research Fellow at Blaydes Maritime History Centre, University of Hull. She is a writer, broadcaster, networker, and museum consultant who is actively promoting greater recognition of the role of minorities in maritime history. This includes women, LGBTQI+ people and BAME people working in those heterotopic institutions, ships, and in port life. Maritime cultural history guru Marcus Rediker described Jo as ‘a national treasure’ because of the unusual treasure she has discovered.

An expert on oral history and lifestory narratives, Jo’s particular research interests include the impact of maritime mobility on travellers’ mental motility; voyagers’ subjective identity can be transformed as in no other occupation.  She is also interested in affective and emotion labour on ships and the narrative process involved in seafarers’ constructing autobiographical summaries.

A STEM Ambassador and creative explorer, Jo is currently writing brief plays focusing on female STEM pioneers in maritime life. They include Victoria Drummond and Eily Keary. These performed plays will be on YouTube as part of the Women’s Engineering Society centenary celebrations and the University of Leeds Electrifying Women project.

An active user of social media, Jo’s information can be seen on her website.

Topical material appears regularly on her blog.

Many of her articles can be read free.

Notable publication on maritime history include:

Jo Stanley , ‘Frocks versus guns: UK seafaring women and queered people sailing the South Atlantic in the 1982 Malvinas/ Falklands conflict’, in Birgit Braasch and Claudia Andrea Müller (Eds), Off Shore: Perspectives on Transatlantic Pleasure Travel since the 19th Century, Lit-Verlag, Hamburg , 2020, pp. 61-98.

Jo Stanley,  ‘UK armed forces’  and ‘UK merchant marine’, in Howard Chiang et al  (Eds)   The Global Encyclopedia of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer History, Macmillan Reference, New York, 2018, Vol 3, pp. 1066-1069.

Jo Stanley, Women and the Royal Navy, IB Tauris/ National Museum of the Royal Navy, London and Portsmouth, 2017.

Jo Stanley, From Cabin ‘Boys’ to Captains: Women seafarers from 1750 to the present, History Press, Stroud, 2016.

Jo Stanley, ‘They thought they were normal - and queens too: gay seafarers on British liners 1945-1985’, in Duncan Redford (Ed), Maritime History and Identity: The sea and culture in the modern world, IB Tauris, London, 2013, pp. 230-250.

Paul Baker and Jo Stanley, Hello Sailor: The hidden history of gay life at sea, Pearson Education/ Longman, London, 2003.

Jo Stanley ‘The Swashbuckler, the Landlubbing Wimp, and the Woman in between: Myself as Pirate(ss)’, in Pauline Polkey (Ed) Women’s Lives into Print: The Theory, Practice and Writing of Feminist Auto/Biography, Macmillan, London, 1999, pp. 216-228.

Jo Stanley (Ed and contributor) Bold in her Breeches: women pirates across the ages, Pandora / HarperCollins, London, 1995, 1996; Toyoshorin, Japan, 2003.

Dr Wayne Turnbull, Postgraduate student

Wayne Turnbull is a doctor of Education and currently holds an LJMU PhD Anniversary Scholarship to research the origins, foundation and legacy of the Liverpool Nautical College, with specific reference to the period 1892-1900 when the college was under the direction of James Gill (1836-1900).

Wayne presented a paper, “Illuminating the local history of training ships through stained glass” to the Centre for Port and Maritime History ‘Art and the sea’ Conference (12th & 13th September 2019) that he is currently working up as a chapter for Emma Roberts’ edited collection ‘Art and the Sea’, which is contracted with Liverpool University Press. Wayne is also co-curator of the exhibition, "Educational Pioneers: Fanny Calder, James Gill and the making of a modern university", which was launched on 12th February 2020 at Liverpool John Moores University.

Professor Nick White

Nick White is Professor of Imperial and Commonwealth History in the History Department at LJMU.  He is Co-director of CPMH and a Trustee of the British Commission for Maritime History (BCMH). Nick’s research interests, related to maritime history, are focused upon British international shipping lines in the twentieth century and especially their responses to decolonisation and globalisation after 1945. His particular geographical expertise lies in East and Southeast Asia but Nick’s research is also concerned with the Port of Liverpool and its relative decline.  These interests, international, imperial and local led to the Heritage Lottery Funded, Homeward Bound: A Liverpool West-Africa Heritage project for which Nick was principal investigator.

Notable publication on maritime history include:

Niels P. Petersson, Stig Tenold, Nicholas J. White (Eds), Shipping and Globalization in the Post-War Era: Contexts, Companies, Connections, Palgrave, 2019, including a chapter by White, ‘Thinking Outside “The Box”: Decolonization and Containerization’, pp. 67-99. (This book is available open access).

Anthony Webster and Nicholas J. White (Eds), Singapore – Two Hundred Years of the Lion City, Routledge, 2019, including a chapter by White, ‘The Economics of Singapore’s Exit from Malaysia’, pp. 96-116. (This book is freely available here during the Covid-19 pandemic).

Nicholas J. White and Catherine Evans, ‘Holding back the tide: Liverpool Shipping, Gentlemanly Capitalism and Intra-Asian Trade in the Twentieth Century’ in Ulbe Bosma and Anthony Webster (Eds), Commodities, Ports and Asian Maritime Trade Since 1750, Palgrave Macmillan, 2015, pp. 218-240.

‘”Ferry off the Mersey”: The Business and the Impact of Decolonization in Liverpool’, History, Vol. 96, No. 2 (April 2011), pp. 188-204.

Sherllynne Haggerty, Anthony Webster and Nicholas J. White (Eds), The empire in one city? Liverpool’s inconvenient imperial past, MUP, 2008, including a chapter by White, ‘Liverpool shipping and the end of empire: the Ocean group in East and Southeast Asia, c. 1945-73, pp. 165-187.

Dr Emily Cuming

Dr Emily Cuming is Senior Lecturer in Literature in the English Department at LJMU and a member of the CPMH Board. Her research, related to maritime history, is concerned with ‘ordinary’ merchant sailors and their representation in literary and cultural forms across the long nineteenth century. She is the author of ‘At Home in the World? The Ornamental Life of Sailors in Victorian Sailortown’, Victorian Literature and Culture 47.3 (2019): 463-85. Emily is currently completing a monograph on sailors’ family and kinship networks, provisionally entitled Maritime Relations: Sailors, Family and Society, 1813-1915. In 2022 she will take up a short-term Caird Research Fellowship at the National Maritime Museum to work on her research project on sea journals and maritime diaries.

Dr Holger Mohaupt

Dr Holger Mohaupt is Senior Lecturer in Film Studies at Liverpool Screen School, his research is focussing on coastal narratives, heritage and immersive storytelling. In the most recent project ‘Mobile Coast’ he explored the potential of immersive 360 documentary narratives in the context of film and well-being, reaching out to excluded communities. He worked with people living with multiples sclerosis in a respite centre in Scotland.


Land, Sea, People and Stories – five exhibition films for Coastal Community Museum, North Berwick, Scotland – UK, 2022

Contact details

Contact staff from the Centre for Port and Maritime History

If you’d like to ask a question or find out more about information about this Group, please contact the team using the details below.

Contact: Professor Nick White

Email: n.j.white@ljmu.ac.uk

Call: +44 (0)151-231-5095


John Foster Building
80-98 Mount Pleasant
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