Proposal preview

Seafaring Lives in Transition. Mediterranean Maritime Labour and Shipping during Globalization, 1850s-1920s.

Seafaring Lives in Transition is an ERC Starting Grant funded project which explores the transition from sail to steam navigation and its effects on seafaring populations in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea between the 1850s and the 1920s. In the core of the project lie the effects of technological innovation on seafaring people and societies, whose lives were drastically altered by the advent of steam. The project addresses the changes through the actors, seafarers, shipowners, and their families, focusing on the adjustment of seafaring lives to the new reality of steam shipping and navigation. It also investigates the attributes of the new maritime labour market, the evolving relations among shipowner, captain, crew, and their local societies, life on board and ashore, as well as the development of new business strategies, trade routes and navigation patterns. The project examines case studies from the Ionian, Aegean, Black, Tyrrhenian, and Adriatic Seas, Spain and southern France. The research team composed of 20 researchers, senior academics, Post-doc researchers and PhD students from Greece, Italy, Spain, France and Ukraine, who study unpublished sources such as ship logbooks, crew lists, and private and business correspondence.


  • Apostolos Delis, Institute for Mediterranean Studies/FORTH,, Greece

Session members

  • Anna Sydorenko, Institute for Mediterranean Studies/FORTH,
  • Jordi Ibarz Gelabert, University of Barcelona,
  • Enric Garcia Domingo, University of Barcelona,
  • Katerina Galani, Institute for Mediterranean Studies/FORTH,
  • Apostolos Delis, Institute for Mediterranean Studies/FORTH,

Proposed discussant(s)

  • Gelina Harlaftis, Institute for Mediterranean Studies/FORTH,