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Podcasts from the Dockland Encounters Symposium

The Dockland Encounters Symposium took place in the National Maritime Museum of Ireland on 22 June, 2017. This one-day interdisciplinary symposium explored the significance of docks and their neighbouring city- and sea-scapes to wider cultural anxieties about the global movement of people and goods, and the permeability of international borders in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

The event was organised by Joanna Robinson and supported by UCD Humanities Institute and UCD Seed Funding. The speakers were:

  • John Brannigan - Down by the Docks: Late Modernist Fictions of Irish Sea Ports
  • Niamh Moore-Cherry - A space of flow and flux: 21st century Dublin Docklands
  • Silvia Loeffler - Deep Mapping the Docks as Transitional Space: An Artistic Cartography
  • Anthony Geraghty - Irish Naval Service Operations in Mediterranean
  • Connal Parr - Queen’s Island’s (Often Unemployed) Trojans: The ambivalent Belfast docklands
  • David Featherstone - Decolonisation, Spaces of Dockside Encounter and Subaltern Agency

All papers, including an introduction by symposium organiser Joanna Robinson and Richard McCormick, President of the Maritime Institute of Ireland, as well as a concluding roundtable discussion, were recorded by Real Smart Media and are now available to podcast on the UCD Humanities Institute's podcasts channels on iTunes and Soundcloud.

About Dockland Encounters
The high walls of docks frame an initial point of contact between local and foreign peoples and goods, but what kinds of encounters do these spaces enable?

Docks are important to studies of transnational and domestic relations from the nineteenth century to the present day. In the nineteenth century, colonial conquests, inward and outward migration, and the development of surrounding urban and maritime environments all contributed to making docks central to cultural and economic transactions between nations. Docks were also sites of contact between different social groups. Wealthy merchants, a hierarchically organised gamut of skilled and unskilled workers, convict labourers, migrants, bourgeois social explorers, and prostitutes, were brought together around the docks, and these sites became the stage for class struggles and protests.

In the twentieth century, the development of new technologies, containerisation, and the redevelopment of docklands has left a legacy of local social problems. Globally, too, docks are significant to the current refugee crisis, as vast numbers of migrants struggle to find safe harbours, or are encamped next to docks in temporary shelters.

Photography by Real Smart Media.

Dockland Encounters Symposium