CONFERENCE: Sensing Colonial Ports and Global History

Sensing Colonial Ports and Global History is an interdisciplinary two-day conference organised by the Colonial Ports and Global History (CPAGH) Network in TORCH Oxford from 2nd May (full day) to 3rd May (half day) 2019.

Its aim is to cross-examine three key concepts – agency, affect and temporality – that are increasingly central to anthropological, historical, musicological and sociological thought about colonial port cities. In doing so, it also explores anew the implications of the ‘colonial port city’ for global history, both in and beyond the academy.

Questions of interest include but are not limited to the following: how did people in port cities variously experience, navigate, negotiate as well as express in local vocabularies what ‘global’ connections and the ‘colonial port city’ were and meant in their everyday lives? What does it mean to not only tune but also ‘sense’ into an extended, yet uneven geography of colonial ports? How might these cities – when ‘sensed’ as nodal cultures – more broadly inform the re/writing of global history with their particular affective registers? How did the emerging rhythms of work and civic life in port cities come into contact with the existing ideas and practices of time? To what extent did multiple understandings of time create a virtual spatio-temporal dissociation between port cities and their hinterland?                                                            

We are delighted to have two distinguished keynote speakers: Leila Fawaz, Issam M. Fares Chair of Lebanese & Eastern Mediterranean Studies at Tufts University, whose broad expertise encompasses migration, trade and war in the modern Middle East; and Benjamin Walton, Senior Lecturer in Music at the University of Cambridge, whose rich expertise extends from touring opera troupes beyond Europe to the globalisation of opera in and beyond the nineteenth century. 

Details of the programme and registration are available here

Christiansborg Castle, Accra (public domain)