nl en

Maritime History


Admission requirements

Not applicable.


Maritime history encompasses humankind’s relationships to the seas and oceans of the world. It is a heterogeneous research field which brings a variety of research perspectives together: shipping, nautical science, warfare at sea, overseas trade, exploration, the steam revolution, ports, containerization, martime labor market and seafaring communities are some of the main subjects. In the past two decades maritime history has enjoyed a real renaissance. Besides economic, political and nautical themes, there is a new attention to social and cultural phenomena and the relation between maritime and global history. This seminar focuses on recent scholarly views and insights in the field of maritime history.

Course objectives

Students acquire a profound understanding of the recent scholarly discussions in the maritime history by reading a number of influential works which students are expected to have studied prior to the session in which these books are discussed; students amass knowledge of the development of maritime history from the 16th century onwards.

Students develop and improve the following skills:

  • The ability to analyze and evaluate literature for the purpose of producing an original scholarly argument

  • The ability to present accurately the views and ideas expressed in important studies in the field of maritime history, and to express an opinion contributing to discussion

  • The ability to give constructive feedback on the work of others

  • The ability to write an essay

  • Insight into the social relevance of history

  • Knowledge and comprehension of the theoretical, conceptual and methodological aspects, and of comparative research in the field of maritime history

Extra course objective for Res Ma students:

  • Knowledge and comprehension of the theoretical foundation of the discipline and of its position vis a vis other disciplines


Timetable History

Mode of instruction

  • Literature Seminar

Course Load

  • Class: 2 × 7 weeks = 14 hours

  • Preparing presentation(s): 6 hours

  • Studying literature and writing essays: 260 hours

Assessment method

Assignments demonstrating the following skills:

  • The ability to give a clear written report on the research results in English or Dutch.

  • The ability to give a clear oral report on the research results in English or Dutch

  • The ability to provide constructive academic feedback

  • The ability to engage with constructive academic feedback

Students will be required to:

  • Write short-essays on each of the books in English or Dutch (80%)

  • Make an oral presentation in English or Dutch (10%)

  • Participate in discussions and provide constructive academic feedback (10%)

Extra for Res Ma students:

  • Write a book review


Blackboard is used for:

  • Practical instructions

  • Announcements

Reading list

  • J.R. Bruijn, The Dutch Navy of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries (Columbia, SC, 1993, ISBN 0872498751) Reprint: St. John’s, Newfoundland: International Maritime Economic History Association, 2011, Research in Maritime History No. 45, ISBN 9780986497353) Or the Dutch edition: Varend verleden. De Nederlandse oorlogsvloot in de 17de en 18de eeuw (Amsterdam 1998, ISBN 9050184073)

  • J.N.F.M. À. Campo, Engines of empire. Steamshipping and state formation in colonial Indonesia (Hilversum 2002, ISBN 9065507388) Or the Dutch edition: J.N.F.M. À. Campo, Koninklijke Paketvaart Maatschappij: stoomvaart en staatsvorming in de Indonesische archipel 1888-1914 (Hilversum 1992, ISBN 9065504036)

  • Merja-Liisa Hinkkanen and David Kirby, The Baltic and the North Seas (London 2000, ISBN 0415132827)

  • Michael B. Miller, Europe and the Maritime World: A Twentieth-Century History (Cambridge/New York 2012, ISBN 9781107024557)

  • M. Pearson, The Indian Ocean (London 2003, ISBN 0415214890)

  • N.A.M. Rodger, The Command of the Ocean: A Naval History of Britain 1649-1815 (London 2004, ISBN 0713994118 (hardback), also in Penguin paperback, ISBN 0140288961)

  • Discussion paper: Patrick Manning, ‘Global History and Maritime History’, International Journal of Maritime History 25-1 (2013) 1-23.


via uSis


mw. Dr. A.M.C. van DisseL


If only native speakers of Dutch participate, the course can be taught in Dutch.