Working Lives Between the Deck and the Dock: Comparative Perspectives on Sailors as International Labourers (16th–18th century) – University of Exeter, 10th–12th September 2013The conference will examine the early modern maritime sector as the first truly international (and indeed global) labour market, exploring the economic, legal, and social dimensions of employment at sea during a period of profound expansion and transformation in European maritime activity. Conceived as an essential part of the ERC-funded project Sailing into Modernity: comparative perspectives on the sixteenth- and seventeenth-century European economic transition, the conference shall present the preliminary findings of our research whilst, at the same time, will go beyond the Mediterranean-centred scope of the project by opening up the discussion to the rest of the globe. Our sessions, featuring both established academics and early career scholars, will discuss: Sailors between Law and Politics, Government Legislation and Labour Markets, Northerners in the Mediterranean, Maritime Hubs, Specialist Sectors in Maritime Labour, European Sailors beyond Europe. The plenary lecture will be delivered by Richard W. Unger (University of British Columbia). Speakers include Andrea Addobbati (Università di Pisa), Amélia Polónia (Universidade do Porto), Carla Rahn-Philips (University of Minnesota), Jelle van Lottum (University of Birmingham) and Matthias van Rossum (Universiteit Leiden).