Organizers: Kristof Loockx (University of Antwerp) and Hilde Greefs (University of Antwerp)
Sailortowns are to be found in port cities around the globe. Even though their functions and relations to the city changed considerably over time, they are often quite unilaterally described as districts with specific characteristics. This image is often connected to the presence of a fluid and temporary population consisting of sailors, prostitutes, trans-migrants and the like who stayed in cheap lodging and boarding houses and to the existence of a busy street and nightlife full of noise, nuisance and violence. This panel aims to unravel this one-dimensional view. The goal is to focus on the daily life of inhabitants who resided and worked in this bustling district and the social and economic relationships that they developed with each other and the floating population of transient residents.
This session focuses on the inhabitants of sailortown and their interactions with the urban fabric in a long-term perspective. It invites papers that examine the various social and economic interactions and relations between transient residents and city dwellers in these specific port districts. We invite authors to reflect on one or more of the following dimensions of interactions:
- Economic interactions: how were labour relations, economic and financial interactions organised in these districts? Which institutions and organisations were involved and which informal and formal networks (co)existed?
- Social interactions: how were daily activities organised? To what extent did these districts form a ‘community’ and which kind of relations existed between residents and transient groups?
- Conflictual interactions: which conflicts and tensions existed in these districts? Which groups of residents were involved and how were these conflicts resolved?
- Cultural interactions: how did cultural exchange contribute to the uniqueness of sailortown and how did these districts differ from the maritime and urban space?
- Gender interactions: what role did women have in these districts in contrast to the masculine world of the ocean?
We particularly welcome papers that integrate a comparative and/or longitudinal perspective and invite authors to send a proposal dealing with cities around the globe.
If you are interested in participating in this session, please send a short abstract (maximum 300 words) to Kristof Loockx ( firstname.lastname@example.org) and Hilde Greefs (email@example.com) before 8 April 2019, so we can propose the session to the organizers of the conference before 15 April 2019.
Please also pass this call to colleagues who might be interested.