CPAGH is the first interdisciplinary network of its kind at Oxford, fostering collaborative thinking about colonial ports and global history, and bringing together a diversity of researchers in terms of their cultural backgrounds, career stages, colleges and disciplines (Anthropology, English, History, Music). The Founding Members’ wide-ranging specialisms extend from the Niger Delta, neo-colonialism in New Orleans and Odessa to Ottoman and Indian manufacturing centres, and East Asian ports. They all share a keen interest in postcolonial theory and the ways it can materially enrich epistemologies of global history. In creating a shared enterprise that transcends different concepts and methodologies, CPAGH will facilitate new knowledge exchange across disciplinary canons, crucially advocating global history as an interdisciplinary practice, and formulating a global research ethics around local perspectives and narratives.
Colonial ports were dynamic nodes of political, economic and socio-cultural activity, connecting people, ideas and things and, thus, playing a key role in shaping global history. The concepts and methodologies that inform research on these sites transcend the confines of individual disciplines, yet to date, colonial ports have often been researched in isolation rather than synergistically. While they vary greatly in their political, economic and socio-cultural conditions, the impact of colonial ports on the ways researchers (re)map and (re)interpret knowledge is best substantiated through exchange that is interdisciplinary, comparative and multicultural. CPAGH aims to establish such dialogue through targeted activities, connecting archival and ethnographic researchers interested in questions of historiography, epistemology and agency; and interfacing these researchers with such stakeholders as archivists, curators, performing musicians, A-Level students and adult learners. In doing so CPAGH hopes to engender a more comprehensive, widely intelligible and post-Eurocentric approach to colonialism in global history, and to its enduring legacies across time and place.
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On Thursday 8 November 2018 (Michaelmas, Week 5) CPAGH’s multimedia launch took place at the Grade II listed St Luke’s Chapel, with a rich array of position statements, live music and a sound work on the theme ‘Colonial Ports: Nodes of Global History?’ Read more about the launch here.
On 2 and 3 May 2019 (Trinity, Week 1) CPAGH hosted an interdisciplinary conference – ‘Sensing Colonial Ports and Global History: Agency, Affect, Temporality’ – with two keynotes and a World Café workshop alongside a wide variety of panels. Further details will be announced in due course.
On 9 November 2019 (Michaelmas, Week 4) CPAGH will host a workshop entitled 'Decolonising colonial ports and global history: rethinking archives of power' for details and registration see here.