April 12, 2012
Birkbeck College, London
This conference explores the role of plebeians in the colonial and commercial expansion across the world from c.1660-1820. Inspired by the themes of Peter Linebaugh and Marcus Rediker's The Many Headed Hydra (2000) the papers will explore the book's central themes in the light of new research, as well as taking it into new areas. The role of seas and ships, armies and navies, and commercial interests in creating and regulating a mobile, multi-ethnic workforce will be explored. Research on traditions of popular protest and radical political and religious ideologies will also be presented. As well as the English-speaking Atlantic, there will be papers on French Canada, Brazil, the Middle East and the Cape Colony.
9:00 - 9:30 Welcome
9:30 - 10:45 Session 1: The sea, sailors and pirates
William Hasty (Glasgow), "Crafting space afloat: process and politics aboard pirate ships in the early eighteenth-century."
Isaac Curtis (Pittsburgh), "The common sea: masterless people and the making of the colonial Caribbean, 1620-1720."
Silvana Cassab Jeha (Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro), "The heterogeneous guys: nationality, trajectory and culture of recruits and marines of the National Imperial Navy of Brazil, 1822 - c. 1854."
11:00 - 12:15 Session 2: The Hydra outside the Atlantic
John Chalcraft (LSE), "The Many Headed Hydra in the Middle East."
Simon Layton, (St Catharine's College, Cambridge) "Hydras and Leviathans in the Indian Ocean world."
Anna Winterbottom, (Sussex) "From Hold to Foredeck: Slave Professions in the Maritime World of the English East India Company, c.1660-1760."
12:15 - 1:15 Lunch
1:15 - 2:30 Session 3: Hercules become Hydra: the army as a site of class struggle
Peter Way (University of Windsor), "Brewed in blood: military justice and Hydra's Many Heads."
Lawrence McDonnell (Iowa State University), "No war but the class war: reimagining battle after The Many-Headed Hydra."
2:30- 2:45 Break
2:45 - 4:00 Session 4: Tributaries to the Hydra
John Donoghue (Loyola University Chicago), "These governments brought forth nothing but blood monsters": empire-building, abolition, and the revolutionary English Atlantic, 1654-1661."
Thierry Drapeau (York University, Toronto), "Upon this great vessel as upon my little canoe": outlook on a French-Canadian Atlantic world through the life of Robert Chevalier, dit de Beauchêne, 1686-1731."
Spike Sweeting (Warwick), "Patrick Colquhoun as product designer: the Thames Police and the West India Interest, 1750-1801."
4:00 - 5:00 Keynote talk: Richard Drayton (KCL), "The Many Headed Hydra and world history from below." Followed by closing discussion.
9.00am – 5.00pm
Birkbeck College, London
Room 532, Birkbeck College, Malet Street
London, WC1E 7HX