CfP: ‘Where Empires Collide: Dockyards and Naval Bases in and around the Indian Ocean’. Naval Dockyards Society

Seamen of the early nineteenth century Omani navy seen
during a visit to Portsmouth Dockyard

CfP deadline: 30 November 2019

Conference: 4 April 2020
National Maritime Museum, Greenwich

This one-day conference will examine the role of naval bases and naval support facilities in and around the Indian Ocean. Some suggested themes follow but submissions are invited on new research or a new interpretation of related topics.

Were bases built to defend colonies, control colonies, or act as springboards to attack the enemy? Were they to suppress local forces, engage companies threatening the British East India Company or as adjuncts to European struggles? How useful were they in the 17th–20th centuries? What facilities existed and how were they resourced? What were the main influences on ship construction and the design of naval facilities? How did national bases differ? How developed and organised were they? What was the burden to the founding state? How dependent upon their hinterland were they? To what extent did they develop their own operating practices? How have their heritage opportunities been developed?

It is not intended to restrict this to the colonising powers of France, Great Britain, Denmark, Portugal and the Netherlands, although the facilities of the British East India Company, Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie (Dutch United East India Company), Compagnie française pour le commerce des Indes orientales (French East India Company) and the Portuguese Estado were foremost. It is hoped that submissions will also cover naval facilities established by Persia, Oman, the Ottoman Empire, Qawāsim, the independent naval states of India including the Maratha and Mughal Empires.

If your proposal is accepted, the NDS will pay standard UK travel expenses (not international flights), your conference fee and lunch, publish it in our Transactions and give you a complimentary copy. Your talk will be 20-40 minutes. The published paper will be 6–10K words long, required three months after the Conference for editing. Please send your title and 300-word synopsis (and any queries) by 30 November 2019 to: Dr Philip MacDougall, and Dr Ann Coats

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