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For centuries, travel to, between and along coasts has shaped the material realities of coastal communities and environments while also impacting wider economic and political relationships. Far from being simply a pursuit of leisure, coastal travel can take different shapes and forms from small boats travelling between islands for the purposes of fishing industries to cruise ships crossing oceans to bring tourists into harbours and ports; goods and objects travel from coast to coast or wash up on shores, connecting places, past and present. Coastal structures that facilitate travel, in turn, impact on local and regional cultural and natural heritage. 

In this seminar session, speakers will share light on the complexities of coastal travel by exploring William Daniell’s Voyage Round Great Britain and its impact on shaping the coastline in the cultural imagination; coastal travel as a research methodology; travel between ports of the Irish Sea basin; and questions of heritage and identity in the case of changing ferry connections to the Dutch the Wadden Sea islands. 

In this seminar session, speakers coming from different disciplines (history, literature, geography) will discuss their research into various aspects of coastal travel, past and present. Each speaker will present for ca. 15 minutes on a chosen topic, and then the remainder of the 90-minute session will be an open Q&A including audience participation. 

Linde Egberts is Assistant Professor at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam where she works in the field of Heritage Studies. Trained as a human geographer and cultural historian, her research focuses on the intersections between heritage, identity, regions, landscape, tourism and identity. She is an advisory partner on the HERICOAST project that addresses the management of heritage in European coastal landscapes. She’s co-author of an open-access article on ‘Coastal Heritage in Touristic Regional Identity Narratives: A Comparison between the Norwegian region Sørlandet and the Dutch Wadden Sea area’ (2019).  

David Gange is Senior Lecturer in History at the University of Birmingham. He works on the histories of coastlines, oceans, and the communities that relyon them. A key part of his methodology is ‘doing’ as much as reading, taking small boats out to sea to research culture and heritage of shorelines. His book The Frayed Atlantic Edge is accompanied by an extensive website. Thinking about time and sea-scapes, he has published articles such as ‘Time, Space & Islands’ (Past & Present, 2019) and ‘Rethinking our Coastlines’ (The Big Issue, 2019). You can listen to a seminar talk on his new project on people of small boats here. 

Zoe Kinsley is Associate Professor at Liverpool Hope University. She is currently exploring literary depictions of the British coastline, alongside ongoing work on the scrapbooks of Dorothy Richardson (1748-1819). She is co-founder of the Liverpool Travel Seminar, which has developed a network of scholars interesting in travel writing in and beyond Liverpool. This collaboration has led to Keywords for Travel Writing Studies (Anthem, 2019), co-edited with Charles Forsdick and Kate Walchester. Among her many publications is a chapter on female identity and coastal space, and an article on ‘William Gilpin at the Coast’ (Review of English Studies, 2017). 

Anna Pilz (Chair) is Marie Curie Fellow at the University of Edinburgh where she is working on the project Coastal Routes that explores Romantic-era travel writing along Ireland’s and Scotland’s Atlantic shores. She is co-editor of ‘Ecologies of the Atlantic Archipelago’ (Nineteenth-Century Contexts, 2021). As part of her recent workshop on “Scotland’s Coastal Romanticisms”, she has interviewed the artist Christina Riley on ‘Collecting, Arranging and Sharing the Coast’. 

James Louis Smith is Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the School of English and Digital Humanities at University College Cork, working on the 2019-23 Ports, Past and Present project. His work is at the intersection of the blue, environmental, spatial and digital humanities. His first monograph is Water in Medieval Intellectual Culture: Case-Studies from Twelfth-Century Monasticism (Brepols, 2018). James is the editor of The Passenger: Medieval Texts and Transits (punctum books, 2017), and co-editor of the Open Library of the Humanities collection New Approaches to Medieval Water Studies (2019). His current book project has the working title of Deep Maps and Blue Humanities.

All welcome, this seminar is free to attend but booking is required.