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ODU to Host Oceanic History Conference May 12-13

Old Dominion University will host the North American Society for Oceanic History's (NASOH) annual conference on Thursday and Friday, May 12-13. The event, which includes professors, graduate students and professionals from the United States, Canada, Germany and the United Kingdom, will consist of a series of seminars on a variety of topics, including naval history, submarine history, U.S. naval interests in the Pacific, whaling, seaport development and American history.

Lars Scholl, professor of maritime history at the University of Bremen and managing director of the German Maritime Museum in Bremerhaven, will deliver the keynote address at 6 p.m. in Room 101 of the Mills Godwin Jr. Life Sciences Building. His address, "Commercial Shipping and Naval Warfare: The Battle of Tsushima (1905)," will explore how the Imperial Russian Navy used the German shipping firm Hapag in 1905 for coal supplies during its military engagements with Japan in 1905. The largest logistical operation to that point executed by a private company for a navy, this endeavor underscored the interdependence between navies and commercial shipping lines - a dependence still relevant today. Following the keynote address, traditional maritime music and sea shanties will be performed at the Baron and Ellin Gordon Art Galleries from 7:30-9 p.m.

ODU's Ingo Heidbrink, professor of history, points out that "since the Department of History houses the office of the Secretary General of the International Commission for Maritime History (ICMH), it's a natural fit to host the annual conference of the respective U.S. Commission for Maritime History and thus strengthen the links between the U.S. Commission for Maritime History and ICMH." Fellow professor of history Annette Finley-Croswhite adds, " In the Department of History we are pleased to be a part of the event that will provide a forum for interdisciplinary discussions of key concerns in the fields of marine and maritime history while exploring sea history in a global context and opening vistas of understanding beyond land-bound histories."

Heidbrink and Finley-Croswhite are the joint conference organizers.

Founded in 1973, NASOH provides a forum for maritime history and houses the U.S. Commission on Maritime History. In conjunction with the Canadian Nautical Research Society, NASOH also publishes a quarterly journal, The Northern Mariner/Le Marin du Nord. In addition to Old Dominion University, conference sponsors include the Sheraton Norfolk Waterside Hotel, Routledge Taylor & Francis Group, and Vandeventer Black LLP. Major funding for this conference came from its main sponsor, Maersk Line Limited. 

For more information about the conference, visit the ODU history department website at http://al.odu.edu/history/ or call 683-3949.

This article was posted on: May 11, 2011

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