Elin Jones (QMUL) ‘Lower-Deck Masuclinities and the Plebeian Experience of the Naval Warship, 1756-1815
Women’s History Seminar
Institute of Historical Research
University of London
Senate House, Malet Street
20 March, 2015
The historiography of late eighteenth-century naval seamen has frequently dichotomised their experience and outlook between that of obedient cog in the machine of empire and war, and an engaged revolutionary force. This paper will examine the naval ship during this period as a lived quasi-institutional space in an attempt to analyse the material worlds of the naval seamen, and to elucidate how they understood themselves, and how they were understood by others, as men. The paper will hope to temper previous analyses, and will seek to ask what seamen as a labour-based group can tell us about plebeian gender history more widely.