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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

General learning objectives
The student has acquired:

    1. The ability to analyse and evaluate literature with a view to addressing a particular historical problem;
    1. The ability to give a clear and well-founded oral and written report on research results in correct English, when required, or Dutch, meeting the criteria of the discipline;
    1. The ability to participate in current debates in the specialisation;
    1. (ResMA only:) The ability to participate in a discussion of the theoretical foundations of the discipline.

Learning objectives, pertaining to the specialisation

    1. Thorough knowledge and comprehension of one of the specialisations or subspecialisations as well as of the historiography of the specialisation, focusing particularly on the following:
    • in the subspecialisation Maritime History: the development of maritime history from the 16th century onwards; insight into recent issues in the field.
    1. (ResMA only): Thorough knowledge and comprehension of the theoretical foundation of the discipline and of its position vis-à-vis other disciplines.

Learning objectives, pertaining to this Literature Seminar
The student has developed:

    1. 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.
    1. The ability to give constructive feedback on the work of others.
    1. Knowledge and comprehension of the theoretical, conceptual and methodological aspects, and of comparative research in the field of maritime history.
    1. (ResMA only:) Knowledge and comprehension of the theoretical foundation of the discipline and of its position vis à vis other disciplines.


To be announced

Mode of instruction

  • Seminar

Course Load

  • Class: 2 × 7 weeks = 14 hours

  • Preparing presentation(s): 6 hours

  • Studying literature and writing essays: 260 hours

Assessment method

To be announced



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)

  • 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)

  • John K. Thornton, A Cultural History of the Atlantic World, 1250-1820 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012)

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


Via uSis

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable


dhr. Prof.dr. M. van Groesen