Bournemouth University: Bournemouth University hosts maritime imagination event

A celebration of Humanities and Law, titled ‘The Maritime Imagination’, was held at the Poole Gateway building on Talbot Campus on 21 June 2022.

Academics from across the university’s department of Humanities and Law showcased their work to an audience made up of BU colleagues and external partners and organisations with connections to the arts and humanities.

Presentations, short films and animations were delivered using Britain’s maritime history and culture, which was chosen as the theme for the evening. Professor of Culture and Communication at BU, Candida Yates who devised the theme and helped organise the event said:

A group photo of the BU Humanities and Law department staff on stage
“The maritime theme provides a useful focus through which to explore the different strands of research within the department, partly because of the proximity of our university to the coast, but also because some of the research conducted in the department is related to the literary, cultural and historical heritage of the coast.”

The Humanities and Law department at the university is made up of both teaching and research work in the individual subject areas of History, English, Politics and Law, and the university’s seaside location continues to be a common thread among the department’s work.

Chancellor Kate Adie CBE DL was one of the guest speakers who helped to open the event with an introduction about her time spent in early childhood on the Northumberland coast. Continuing with the North Coast theme, she spoke about the story of Grace Darling, who in 1838 witnessed a ship carrying 62 people hitting rocks and breaking in two. Along with her father, Grace rowed a boat out to the wreck and helped to save many lives.

BU Chancellor Kate Adie CBE DL speaking at the event
The maritime themes continued throughout the evening in the form of short presentations which were given by departmental academics and researchers on a variety of topics including:

Ghost ships – looking at the economic theory and the technological revolution of remote-controlled and autonomous ships, exploring the relationship between law and engineering.
Crime in the maritime and lawlessness by the sea
Bodies at the seaside – offering an insight into contemporary wellbeing, health and place through the consideration of tattooing practice by the seaside.
Brexit by the sea – exploring the relationship between politics and psychology and the implications this has for voter’s attitudes towards immigrants and refugees.
Topics chosen for the event also resonate with many of the societal, cultural and political uncertainties that the country faces today, as Professor Candida Yates explained:

“The Humanities enable us to discover, challenge and unpack critically the meanings of experience related to heritage, culture and human rights. There is also a rich seem of research into ships and maritime law, as well as human rights research into the missing people at sea and the feelings of loss associated with migrants who are separated from family and home. The real and imagined borders of national identity and its relationship to liminal spaces of the coastal shoreline and which continue to resonate in relation to Brexit, provide another strand of teaching and research in the department. “

The department is hopeful that by sharing and showcasing existing and future research it can make partnerships across and beyond the university, both at a local and national level with external agencies, businesses, and policy makers for the purposes of public engagement, research and impact.