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Maritime History and Identity: The Sea and Culture in the Modern World (International Library of War Studies) [Hardcover]

Duncan Redford

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Book Description

18 Dec 2013 International Library of War Studies (Book 20)
The sea and its relation to human life has always been a subject of fascination for historians. For the first time, this book looks at the field of Maritime History through the prism of identity - imperial, national, regional, gender and religious - from maritime great powers such as Britain, Germany and Japan, to smaller players such as Norway and Italy. It considers the variety of people who interacted with the sea in different ways - from merchant sailors to naval officers and, on land, from dockworkers to the civilians who participated in the sea-based festivals in the Mediterranean port city of Messina. A cultural strand runs through the volume, with chapters focusing on the cultural construction of the naval hero in literature, poetry, music and art, and analysing how sailors used tattoos to express aspects of their identity in the nineteenth century. By bringing together a variety of themes related to identity, this book provides an important and unique addition to the historiography, which will be essential reading for all scholars of maritime and naval history and those concerned with the question of identity.

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More About the Author

Dr Duncan Redford is the Senior Research Fellow, Modern Naval History at the National Museum of the Royal Navy, and the Honorary Senior Research Fellow in Modern Naval History at the University of Portsmouth. Between 2008 and 2011 he was the Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow at the Centre for Maritime Historical Studies, University of Exeter, where his research looked at the relationship between the Royal Navy and British National Identity, 1870-1980. His doctoral research was awarded the Laughton Naval history Scholarship by King's College London (2002-6) and investigated 'The cultural impact of submarines on Britain 1900-1977' which formed the basis of his first book Submarine: A Cultural History from the Great War to Nuclear Combat, published by I. B. Tauris in 2010. He is currently the general editor of a 14 volume series examining the history of the Royal Navy which will be launched at Easter 2014, to which he is contributing volumes on the Royal Navy in the Twentieth Century (2014), The Royal Navy in the Second World War (2014), and the Submarine Service (2017).

A former Royal Navy officer, Duncan joined the Navy in 1991 as a Warfare Officer, carrying out his initial training at Britannia Royal Naval College, HMS Broadsword and HMS Boxer, before being selected to do a BA (Hons) in Maritime Defence, Management and Technology at the Royal Naval Engineering College, Manadon. A volunteer for service in submarines, Duncan served on T class hunter-killer submarines at the Second Submarine Squadron, Devonport, and was the Navigating Officer of HMS Tireless and then HMS Turbulent. He left the Royal Navy in 2001.

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A commendably wide-ranging collection of case studies of the many ways in which the sea has framed individual and community perceptions of their identity since the sixteenth century. All who study cultural, social, and political history, as well as maritime specialists, should take them into account.

Michael Duffy, Centre for Maritime Historical Studies, University of Exeter

Maritime History and Identity offers a wide-ranging treatment of an important topic. Much writing on cultural and social history has overlooked the maritime dimension to questions of identity; conversely, research into maritime history has all too often ignored these same questions. Covering subjects as diverse as British naval heroism, film portrayals of shipyard workers, the corporate identity of the Imperial German Navy and cross-dressing on cruise liners, this book addresses these imbalances in the scholarship. Structured thematically, and comprising fourteen essays by established up-and-coming authors, the volume will be of considerable interest to scholars and students of national and personal identities, maritime history and social and cultural history more generally. --Paul Readman, Senior Lecturer in Modern British History, King's College, London

About the Author

Duncan Redford is Senior Research Fellow in Modern Naval History at the National Museum of the Royal Navy (NMRN). He previously held a Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellowships at the Centre for Maritime Historical Studies, University of Exeter and is the author of The Submarine: A Cultural History from the Great War to Nuclear Combat (I.B.Tauris). He is the General Editor of the History of the Royal Navy series, published by I.B.Tauris in association with the National Museum of the Royal Navy.

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