Port cities rose to occupy a critical space, mediating between their own hinterlands and an oceanic world of circulation and exchange. Highly local institutions and networks influenced and reacted to global networks and the movements of people, goods, fashions, ideas, and pathogens. This conference explores comparisons and connections among ports in the age of sail. Through broadly comparative papers and revealing case studies this conference provides a forum to explore comparisons and contrasts, diversity and congruence, competition and emulation, among far-flung port cities on a global scale.
The conference is co-sponsored by Temple University, the McNeil Center for Early American Studies, and the Library Company of Philadelphia's Program in Early American Economy and Society.