HIST 245 Men, Ships and the Sea Select Term:
The history of shipbuilding and seafaring offers fascinating insights into the interaction between ecologies, technologies, incentives and ambitions, knowledge, production, and lifestyles. Human societies inhabiting coastal areas have developed various ship types both by way of utilising the available materials, and in order to cope with the specific problems posed by different seas or oceans. As a complicated piece of machinery, each such ship generates multiple technological demands on different sectors; it also becomes a part of dense patterns of human existence, comprising routes, movement, trade, exploration, and migrations. Combining social with technological history, the course proposes to explore these and other themes through the prism of five major ship types : a Mediterranean galley; an 18th century ship-of-the-line; a tea clipper; a dreadnought; and an ocean liner from the gilded age of transatlantic travel.