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Oil painting showing a train coming in to a multi-track railyard, with ships masts and smokestacks in the distance.

A Safe Port? Railway accidents in the dock

By now – after many years of work in the ‘Port Towns & Urban Cultures’ project – it’s probably old hat to say that port towns are important intersections between land and water, liminal zones and crossing points for people, goods and ideas. These transient places are of great interest to a range of historians, […]

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Desire is projected across ‘empty’ space in Calvino’s Invisible Cities. 

Seascape with Distant Coast, by J. M. W. Turner, c. 1830-1845. © Tate. Image reproduced by permission of Tate and under CC-BY-NC-ND 3.0 (Unported).

Port Cities and Desire in the Work of Italo Calvino

Italo Calvino’s (1923-1985) Invisible Cities is a work of fiction that continuously reimagines the city of Venice. It demonstrates that the same urban landscape may offer numerous different promises to its various spectators: of new lives and new possibilities, but also of new sensualities, transgressions, and experiments. This article will draw on a number of […]

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Syria (2)

BAME Seafarers in the First World War: The Discovery of the Oldest Surviving ‘nolly’ – The Story of Rohama Hassa

I discovered Rohama Hassa’s Continuous Discharge Certificate (CDC) in a wooden chest, from the belongings of my late paternal grandmother, Mrs Mohamed (b. 1908, d. 1989), during a visit in October 2011 to our family home in Kashmir, Pakistan. After safely bringing the CDC, 5,029 miles back to Great Britain and carry out extensive research […]

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