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Title: Place and mobilities in the maritime world : the Royal Steam Packet Company in the Caribbean, c. 1838 to 1914
Author: Anim-Addo, Anyaa
ISNI:       0000 0004 2717 3278
Awarding Body: Royal Holloway, University of London
Current Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Date of Award: 2012
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The empirical subject of this thesis is the Royal Mail Steam Packet Company (RMSPC), a British-based steamship company that served the Caribbean from 1842, and extended operations into South America in 1851. I construct a postcolonial historical geography of the RMSPC as it operated in the 'expanded' post-emancipation Caribbean. By analysing the steamship service as a network rather than as a 'tool' of empire, I foreground the mobilities constructed by this Company, and explore how these mobilities impacted upon maritime places in the Caribbean. In so doing, I develop a 'tidalectic' approach to the RMSPC's past, by expanding upon Kamau Brathwaite's concept. I argue that tidalectics, in intersection with the 'new mobilities 'paradigm', contributes to an advance in understandings of maritime history, since together they facilitate mobile examinations of the relationship between sea and shore. To develop analysis of the RMSPC's maritime mobilities, four substantive case studies are presented. The first case study focuses on the RMSPC' s ports-of-call, as mapped by the scheme of routes. The second such chapter considers the steamship itself as place, particularly with reference to social and cultural dynamics. The coaling process is the focus of the third case study, and in the final chapter I add to the analysis the RMSPC's two main tourist routes through the Americas. The thesis proposes that steamship mobilities in many ways escaped and exceeded the original intentions of company directors and managers. As complex networks rather than straightforward imperial 'tools', steamship mobilities were subject to the influence of multiple places. In the case of the RMSPC, Caribbean influences overlooked in previous studies have been reconstructed and offered on the basis of archival research.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available