In the early modern period, advances in maritime technology redrew the global map—not only through the "discovery" of new worlds, but by reorienting patterns of commerce and migration to transform what had been peripheries into vital nodes of exchange, power, and culture. Port cities rose to occupy a critical space, mediating between their own hinterlands and an oceanic world of circulation and exchange. Highly local institutions and networks influenced and reacted to global networks and the movements of people, goods, fashions, ideas, and pathogens. This conference explores comparisons and connections among ports in the age of sail. Through broadly comparative papers and revealing case studies this conference provides a forum to explore comparisons and contrasts, diversity and congruence, competition and emulation, among far-flung port cities on a global scale.
A conference co-sponsored by Temple University, the McNeil Center for Early American Studies, and the Library Company of Philadelphia Program in Early American Economy and Society.