“Environmental Governance of the Oceans” by Dr Tim. A Stojanovic, University of St Andrews.

“Environmental Governance of the Oceans” by Dr Tim. A Stojanovic, University of St Andrews.

A free seminar held at the University of Greenwich.
Human activities in the oceans are expanding rapidly. There is concern that the oceans are facing environmentally degrading development pressures, as catchments did the industrial revolution. But there is also hope that new forms of activity can be developed smartly to minimise environmental impacts and benefit society. In response to these pressures, since 2005 over 60 marine plans have been developed by nations to help govern the marine environment. This paper will provide an overview of the phases and scales of marine development in the global oceans, as well as a review of the approaches to marine planning. In conclusion, the seminar will invite scholarly reflection surrounding these practicable tasks, including: What kind of institutional arrangements can draw together public, private and civil society into partnerships for the sustainability of the oceans? How should marine plans draw on the traditions of planning in the terrestrial environment? Which principles of governance will lead to more just allocation and sustainable outcomes for the world’s oceans? Such research questions build upon Greenwich Maritime Centre’s stated aims to deepen understanding of the relationships between society and the sea.

Tuesday 3rd April, 2018
Old Royal Naval College campus
Lecture Theatre Queen Anne 080
5.30pm – 8.00pm

The talk will last for 45 mins with a chance for a Q&A and networking after.

Tickets are free but limited so please do reserve your place: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/gmc-seminar-environmental-governance-of-the-oceans-tickets-42745444776

For more information on our seminar series please visit: http://www.gre.ac.uk/ach/gmc/seminar-series/gmc-and-cmrg-seminar-series

Find out more about the Coastal and Marine Research Group (RGS) here: https://coastalmarineresearchgroup.wordpress.com/

If you have any queries please email: gmc@greenwich.ac.uk


Final Call for Papers – GMC Society and the Sea 2018 Conference



The Greenwich Maritime Centre presents our biennial conference: Society and the Sea 2018 ‘THE VALUES OF THE OCEAN AND COASTS FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT’, 6 & 7 September 2018.

Details and submissions: https://goo.gl/forms/9GrYKd4zyFjGDuLF3

Deadline: 16th April 2018

Queries: societyandthesea@greenwich.ac.uk

‘The Big Skills Debate’

The National Maritime Big Skills Debate was held on the 8th November 2017 at the University of Greenwich’s Old Royal Naval College campus.

We are very grateful to National Maritime for making available a recording of the event and are proud to share it with you here. Please don’t forget to subscribe to National Maritime’s channel to make sure you see similar events in the future.

The debate explored how the maritime sector currently collaborates to deliver maritime training that best supports business succession planning and challenged existing UK maritime training provision and funding streams. It also considered how the national ‘skills gap’ discussion could be simplified to encourage wider participation and collaboration from across the UK maritime cluster.

Representations were made from an expert panel from across the UK maritime cluster.

  • Andrew Bull, Headmaster – The London Nautical School (Chair)
  • Andrew Bowen, Head of Technical – Engineering and IT Department, DP World London Gateway
  • Tony Graham, Chairman – The UK Naval Engineering Science and Technology Forum (UKNEST)
  • Peter Aylott, Chairman, Education and Training – The Honourable Company of Master Mariners (HCMM)
  • Sezen Zeki, Managing Director, Jobs in Maritime
  • James Burr, Head of Human Resources – MBNA Thames Clippers
  • Dr Christopher Ware, MA Programme lead International Maritime Policy, Greenwich Maritime Centre
  • Ewan Shinton, Operations Director – UKSA

This event was delivered in partnership with Jobs in Maritime, the Greenwich Maritime Centre (GMC), Lloyds Maritime Academy and the National Maritime Training Centre.

Reflections on engagement with my exhibition ‘Liminal Matter’, held in association with The Greenwich Maritime Centre, by Lizzie Cannon

The Heritage Gallery, at the heart of the Old Royal Naval College, with its’ views of the River Thames was the ideal location for an exhibition which took the ‘Liminal Matter’ of the constantly shifting shoreline as its subject matter. Attracting audiences who had come to visit the grade I listed building on a World Heritage Site or to events such as the ‘The State of Maritime History Research’ Conference, enabled some interesting dialogue around historical artefacts, artistic interpretation and maritime issues.

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View of In Transition (2015-17) and Corrosion (study with beads) 3 (2015) through door of the Heritage Gallery


One visitor identified the object used in ‘Corrosion: Study with beads 1’ (2013) as a hub cap, which he thought to be from a Morris manufactured between 1938 and 1950. Another, suggested ‘In Transition’ (2015-17) is derived from the inner lining of a funnel from a Steam Ship, built sometime between the 1890s and 1930s. As an artist, I am drawn to these objects in their delicate transitory state, somewhere between the functional, historical and organic, artefact and debris. I tap into a process of continued material change through subtle interventions, my needle and thread echoing the repetitive and circular action of the waves as I mimic the slow accumulation of rust and organic matter by sewing together tiny beads.

The exhibition was accompanied by a series of free events. The Researcher’s Discussion Group invited academics at the University of Greenwich to join in an inter-disciplinary conversation in response to the works exhibited. This gave a thought provoking insight into different ways the work could be interpreted and its contribution to understanding the liminality of the coast-line. For Dr. Vanessa Taylor (Lecturer in Environmental History / Research Fellow) ‘In Transition’ (2015-17) prompted thought around the passage of time, death and decay and the drive to recover what is dead. Coming from an Ecology background, Dr. Adriana Ford (Research Fellow in Environmental Social Sciences) was drawn to the beaded interventions, interpreting them as the colonisation of an inanimate object by something living. Dr. Tim Acott (Principal Lecturer, Environmental Geography) saw the work as a challenge to the notion of Ecosystem, by beginning to break down the ‘human-nature’ dualism.

Liminal Matters, an exhibitio by Lizzie Cannon
Exhibition installation shot: Corrosion (study with beads) 1-3 (2013-2015) and In Transition (2015-17). (Photography: Arnold Borgerth)


[Speaking about ‘In Transition’ (2015-17)]

TA: So presumably in its original function at that point it was allowing or enabling that ship to operate… and then it’s ended up on the beach and has become a vehicle for wildlife, for barnacles and things to grow in. It has started to become colonised, and so that distance to the human… is starting to get greater.

LC: But also, the history that comes before this starts to become apparent as well, before it was just matter that was in the ground that looks very much like what is now accumulating around the bottom I can imagine.

TA: Absolutely, yes, and take it one stage further than that, and how was that iron produced and how was it smelted, then this object is created and had a certain function, that was dissipated. And of course, the processes around that dissipation would be really interesting. What happened? How was the ship wrecked? What were the stories around that etc. and then it ends up on the beach. Is it part of the ecosystem, from when the barnacles started growing etc.? Who knows? Then you found it, you came along, and you took it out of that system and you started to put beads on it, you started photographing it and getting it into galleries, so it’s now an object of circulation, an object of aesthetic enjoyment etc. And it’s been sold to someone who lives in Suffolk… so if you were to write a life history of that object, its having an effect.

AF: Absolutely … and I was just thinking that object you found on the beach, how many people came across it before you, and did other people walk past it and what was their reaction to it? Did they think that is just horrible piece of pollution or did a child play in it?…

The varying nature and role of academic research also became apparent. Whereas Historians may often primarily focus on documents held in archives to evidence answers to predefined questions, the role of the artist, is perhaps, to stimulate questions and destabilise established ideas? In relation to the exhibited works, I feel the materiality of the objects leads this dialogue. Or in the words of Dr. Vanessa Taylor ‘You’ve got this object and it just kind of splurges all these things up and you can actually do with them what you want’. With reference to Jane Bennett’s book ‘Vibrant Matter’ and Bruno Latour’s ‘Actor Network Theory’, Dr. Tim Acott drew attention to the benefits of looking at objects as a process rather than a static given entity, as ‘actually having an effect … acting out as an entity that is causing something to happen’. These ideas resonate with me, as my process based interactions with the objects are a way of investigating and embracing an ontological fluidity that allows for an understanding of materiality as a reciprocal and generative relationship between humans and environment.

Discussion ensued around the purpose and justification for academic research and art practice, and more specifically, around the impact that the exhibition may have going forward. As an artist, I do not set out with a politicised agenda but hope to invite dialogue. It would be interesting if the discussion initiated by a work such as ‘In Transition’ (2015-17) were to continue in another medium or on another platform, contributing to an ongoing discourse.

This event was held in association with Greenwich Maritime Centre, University of Greenwich, was kindly supported by Arts Council England National Lottery funding, and was part of Totally Thames 2017 that runs from 1-30 September





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“Art, Resilience and Porosity in the Coastal Zone.” Our next seminar at the University of Greenwich.

Dear all,

Following the success of our first CMRG & GMC Joint Seminar Series talk this week we are proud to announce the second in the series:

“Art, Resilience and Porosity in the Coastal Zone.” by Simon Read

Tuesday 5th December, 6pm

The University of Greenwich, Old Royal Naval College, 30 Park Row, London SE10 9LS

Lecture Theatre QA080

It is an anomaly that whilst most coastal communities consider the continuing resilience of the coast and its defences a priority, there is a growing belief from the policy development sector that this should flow from a reinvigorated climate of social resilience. This begs the question of who is responsible to deliver resilience? From a community point of view the expectation persists that this is the duty of a benign authority, which recently has provoked a profound sense of betrayal when it is realized that this may not be so. This in turn evolves from a belief in the inherent value of coastal landscape, which is valued as much for its cultural significance as it is a source of livelihood. The bonds that tie people to place make them determined that the configuration of the landscape should remain as it always was or as it always was presumed to be. Although in reality it may be tenuous, it is nonetheless deeply rooted in the community psyche that a landscape that is inherently changeful is also predictable, consistent and cyclical in spite of copious evidence to the contrary.

For the full description please visit our website: http://www.gre.ac.uk/ach/gmc/seminar-series/gmc-and-cmrg-seminar-series/tuesday-5th-december-2017 

And for FREE tickets please visit our Eventbrite page to sign up: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/art-resilience-and-porosity-in-the-coastal-zone-tickets-39039862279


‘State of Maritime History Research’ Conference Report

The GMC is pleased to announce that the ‘State of Maritime History Research’ conference, held in partnership with the Society for Nautical Research (SNR), was a resounding success.

On 9 September 2017, we welcomed over 70 delegates to the first maritime history conference hosted by the GMC, and the first national conference organised by the SNR. The SNR supports maritime history events in conjunction with other organisations, such as the New Researchers in Maritime History conference and the King’s Lecture series, co-sponsored with the British Commission for Maritime History. Although a half-day conference in Glasgow in 2010 to celebrate the SNR’s centenary developed into the Annual Scottish Maritime History Conference held with the University of Glasgow and Glasgow Museums, this was the first time they held a full one day event under their own flag. At the same time, the GMC wanted a conference for alumni of the former Greenwich Maritime Institute. Both organisations also sought to attract those who write maritime history but who don’t identify as maritime historians. This conference was the result.


With the theme of ‘The State of Maritime Research’, it was befitting that the first SNR Anderson Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to long-time member John Hattendorf, Professor Emeritus of Maritime History, U.S. Naval War College. Prof Hattendorf has for a long time been a keen observer and prolific writer on developments in naval and maritime history. In answer to the conference’s key question about the future of maritime history he answered in the affirmative. Maritime history is in a healthy state, with at least nine maritime history journals: ‘a field with so many active journals seems to be one that is vibrant’. He suggests there is ‘great future potential’, and to ‘Let’s all get to work and keep maritime history under-weigh with way on!’

The tone was set perfectly for the rest of the conference. Keynotes by our other master naval historians, Prof Eric Grove and Prof Richard Harding, also set the bar high by sharing their experiences with incorporating broad perspectives. Prof Grove regaled us with an ‘aha’ moment, which came from watching a programme on food history. This changed the way he interpreted the U-boat crisis of 1917. He advised that we can’t understand battles and war without seeing the bigger picture, such as the importance of logistics and food production.


Prof Richard Harding, our last keynote of the day, had a similar message. Maritime history is robust and diverse, and yet offers even more opportunities for research. The field is multi-functional, multi-disciplinary; it helps us to understand the global condition and organizational problems. This is especially true when maritime history connects with other approaches, such as the social sciences. He emphasised as well, that the field’s strength lies in its breadth of practitioners—both professional and amateur. Indeed, our amateur researchers are our bedrock.

The papers presented at the conference supported the points made in all three keynotes. They were wide-ranging, and all offered exciting new avenues for research. Indeed, one of the themes of the conference was the importance of reaching out, to bring together academics, independent scholars, heritage organisations, museums, and the interested public. We all need each other.


All-in-all, the feedback for the conference was very positive, and the excitement was palpable. One delegate remarked on Twitter that “I had a great day, thanks for the kick start to my MA studies. Am one of the enthusiastic amateurs mentioned in round table!” It wasn’t long before the organisers heard the comments of ‘Let’s do this again!’

I think we all took away an appreciation for the vibrancy and positive future of maritime history. We really do have an embarrassment of riches considering the topics and methods we can choose from, and potential impact of our research. The field is in good hands.

If you didn’t get to attend, conference organiser JD Davies has written an engaging blog at https://jddavies.com/2017/09/11/a-very-palpable-hit-the-state-of-maritime-historical-research-conference-2017/ which describes individual papers.  Tweets from the conference can be viewed by searching on #MarConf17 on Twitter. The SNR is also planning on publishing many of the papers in Topmasts, which will be available open-source online. Check out their website at https://snr.org.uk/.


One last comment—but a very important one: The organisers offer their gratitude to the University of Greenwich for hosting the conference, as well as to the Events team for all their help in set-up, registration, catering, and taking care of the delegates. We couldn’t have done it without you.


GMC Featured Artist’s Exhibition: Lizzie Cannon ‘Liminal Matter’

We are very proud to announce the details of artist Lizzie Cannon’s new exhibition at the University of Greenwich, Greenwich Maritime Centre.


L I Z Z I E  C A N N O N

L i m i n a l  M a t t e r


LIZZIE CANNON In Transition Detail 5

Lizzie Cannon

‘In Transition’ (2015-17)

Found object, hand embroidery with beads and polyester thread

185 x 95 x 90 cm


Download the ‘Liminal Matter’ PDF here


An Exhibition held in association with Greenwich Maritime Centre and Totally Thames

31st August – 9th September

Opening Reception Wed 30th Aug

6.00-9.00 pm (Artist’s Tour at 7.00 pm)

Please RSVP to info@lizziecannon.com


Heritage Gallery

University of Greenwich


For opening hours, directions and to book events visit



Events include:

Reading Group

Researchers Discussion Group (contact info@lizziecannon.com)

River Yarns: A sewing circle and storytelling event

Engine Chat Chat (Artist’s Crit)


This event is kindly supported by Arts Council England National Lottery funding and is part of Totally Thames 2017 that runs from 1-30 September



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