Thursday, 10 March 2011

Lascar Seafaring Workshop

Lascar Seafaring Workshop
The Global Lives and Cross-Cultural Engagements of Asian Sailors
April 14th 2011, University of Southampton

From the seventeenth century, the labour of lascars (Asian sailors working on European ships) underpinned transoceanic trade, the development and maintenance of colonial power structures, and the newly-global movement of people, materials and ideas. Lascars were among the first people to live global lives, among the first Asians to travel to and settle in Europe, to move within and produce intercolonial networks and to participate in a new international labour community. By the late nineteenth century, they were at the heart of the new urban port communities and at the forefront of maritime labour movements and politics from Europe to Australia. Yet they are remarkably underrepresented in the emerging scholarship on global histories, transnational identities and colonial and intercolonial networks to which their stories are integral. This workshop will bring together for the first time the work of the small, international group of scholars who have been researching diverse aspects of lascar seafaring, from the material worlds of eighteenth century lascars to race, gender and the politics of transnational alliance in the early twentieth century global maritime labour market.

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