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June 21, 2013

Seaports in Transition. Global Change and the Role of Seaports since the 1950s

CFP: Seaports in Transition. Global Change and the Role of Seaports
since the 1950s - Hamburg 03/14

Dr. Christoph Strupp, Forschungsstelle für Zeitgeschichte in Hamburg (FZH)
13.03.2014-15.03.2014, Hamburg, Forschungsstelle für Zeitgeschichte in
Hamburg (FZH)
Deadline: 05.07.2013

Seaports have always been gateways of globalization. Their services are crucial for the world-wide mobility of raw materials, industrial
products, and consumer goods. In the second half of the twentieth
century, the rising volume and complexity of global trade flows
profoundly changed the way seaports operated. Major economic trends,
from the rise and fall of energy sources such as coal or oil, the
deregulation and geographical reorientation of global trade, the
establishment of just-in-time production processes and other new work
routines, or the evolution of the modern service economy, left their
mark on the ports.

Traditional trade ports evolved into industrial ports, distribution
hubs, and nodes of logistics networks. Shipping companies confronted the ports with ever larger cargo ships and new demands on port performance.

Business and organizational structures, work relations, and spatial
layouts changed dramatically and required constant financial
investments, as did technical improvements - from the pallets and fork
trucks of the 1950s and the containerization of general cargo in the
1960s to today's advanced electronic data management at the terminals.

Port authorities and political institutions at local, regional, and
national levels responded with a variety of political and financial
strategies. In a couple of cases prominent traditional ports - and port cities - could not maintain their status as major economic hub. New "players," especially in Asia, became integrated in global logistics chains.

The conference is supposed to take stock of research results on the
history of seaports since the 1950s, stimulate cooperation between
ongoing projects, and identify current research trends. The complexity
of ports with their macroeconomic, political, spatial, or environmental dimensions offers a variety of attractive perspectives.

Papers may discuss but are not limited to the following topics:
- Changes in port economy and logistics, including the organization of
labor;
- Consequences of technical innovations in shipbuilding and cargo handling;
- Changes in port governance and financing at transnational, national,
regional, and local political levels, including inter-port competition,
cooperation, and network-building;
- Conflicts of goals between port development and other policy areas
such as the environment;
- Changes in the spatial dimension of ports, including the advent of
offshore terminals, and the rehabilitation and utilization of former
port areas for other purposes;
- Consequences of political and economic turning points such as the
beginning of the Cold War, the economic crises of the 1970s, or the
watershed of 1989/90 for seaports;
- Changes in the public image, including the "festivalization" of ports and urban waterfronts.

Preference will be given to proposals addressing issues in a larger
historical context or from a comparative point of view even if engaged
in local or case studies. As far as possible, topics of maritime and
port history should be embedded in general economic and political
developments of the last decades. Proposals from scholars working on
broader topics of globalization, transnational history, urban history,
transportation history, etc. are encouraged. Papers from disciplines
such as economics, transportation studies, or geography with a distinct historical focus are welcome. We are interested in papers that do not only focus on Europe and the United States, but also pay attention to developments in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

Proposals for papers of 20 minutes (abstract of max. 300 words and a
brief C.V., including postal and e-mail address) should be sent by
e-mail to the convener at: strupp@zeitgeschichte-hamburg.de
no later than July 5, 2013.
The conference language is English. Draft versions of the papers will
have to be submitted to the panel moderators / commentators four weeks
in advance of the conference. Travel and accommodation expenses of the
participants will be covered by the FZH.

The conference is made possible by a grant of the Behörde für
Wissenschaft und Forschung der Freien und Hansestadt Hamburg (Hamburg
Ministry of Science and Research). It is part of the FZH's field of
activity on the history of Hamburg in the second half of the twentieth
century. The conference will be open to the public.

Posted by katemw at June 21, 2013 08:19 AM

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