The conference explored the transnational dimensions of mutiny and maritime radicalism during the great cycle of war and revolution beginning in the mid-1750s, progressing through the eras of the American, French, and Haitian Revolutions, into the period of the South American Wars for Liberation, and concluding with the revolutionary movements of the 1830s-40s.
Our central theme is mutiny - its causes, frequency, forms, patterns, and outcomes - as we chart, link, and compare maritime insurrections in the Atlantic and beyond, on warships, merchant and fishing vessels, on privateers, slavers, convict ships, troop transports, hulks, galleys, and other vessels plying their trade on the seas. We will also concentrate on the mutineers themselves: their individual and collective biographies, social composition, self-organization, objectives, and ideas.
We also include unrest in port cities, sites of international exchange between maritime and landed forms of resistance. Sailors did not live only on ships. They spent significant amounts of time in port, sometimes connecting shipboard unrest and radical movements on land in personal, political, and social ways.
Our aim is to rediscover the age of revolution in its full geographic extent, and though our central focus will be on the Atlantic with its wars and revolutions, we take an expansive and flexible view of its limits, hoping for contributions on other maritime regions such as the Baltic, Mediterranean, and Black Seas, or the Indian, South Pacific, Arctic, and Antarctic Oceans, excluding none.
Questions covered in the papers might include:
- What was the chronology and geography of mutiny (broadly defined) in the age of revolution?
- What kinds of ships were involved and how many?
- What were the social profiles of the mutineers?
- How were the crews initially raised/mobilized? How were they remunerated?
- What was the social composition of mutinous crews?
- What was the nature of self-organization among mutinous crews?
- What were the political dimensions of mutinies? What were their demands?
- What were the connections of mutinies to other ships and fleets, to landed society, and to other social movements?
We expect the conference to result in an edited volume published by a major international press.
Organizing Committee Mutiny Conference:
Clare Anderson (Warwick University) firstname.lastname@example.org
Emma Christopher (University of Sydney) email@example.com
Niklas Frykman (Claremont McKenna College) firstname.lastname@example.org
Lex Heerma van Voss (International Institute of Social History) email@example.com
Marcus Rediker (University of Pittsburgh) firstname.lastname@example.org