Centre for Port and Maritime History

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.

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:

  • Urban history, especially the history of Dublin
  • Marketing and advertising in the British merchant marine
  • Liverpool shipping and Empire in the twentieth century
  • Liverpool and the British Empire in the eighteenth century

Members of the Centre for Port and Maritime History were included in Liverpool John Moores University’s History Unit of Assessment submission to REF2014, in which over 60% of publications were rated internationally excellent or world leading.  

Currently, the Centre for Port and Maritime History is in the early stages of a collaboration with the Elder Dempster Pensioners’ Association. The aim of this collaboration is to create a collection of oral histories and ephemera, which will record the history of Elder Dempster Lines and the history of British shipping to West Africa during the twentieth century. In addition to this collaboration, the Centre also works closely with the University of Liverpool Management School.

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, which are currently being worked into journal articles. Members also helped to organise Sail Away – an exhibition held at Merseyside Maritime Museum.

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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

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 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.

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
L3 5UZ