Keynote Speakers


University of British Columbia, Canada

Richard_UngerRichard W. Unger, trained as an economic historian, taught various aspects of European history at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada until his retirement.

He began his research into trade and its positive impact on the economy of the high and late Middle Ages by working on ship design in the period.

His first books concentrated on the technology of shipbuilding and the economic impact of changes in sea-going vessels.

His work on maritime history continued with examination of the sources of information for understanding the evolution of ships and shipping along certain routes and in certain commodities.

Research on the evolution of pre-modern navies and naval power as well as knowledge of changes in sea fisheries was connected consistently to new information flowing from the rapid growth of nautical archeology over the last sixty years.

Most recently he has turned to the study of nautical charts and maps of the sea in the Renaissance, the ships that served as their decoration and what can be learned about the vessels and what people thought of them in the Middle Ages and the sixteenth century.

He is now working on the relationships among the economy, shipping, maritime technology, the emergence of states and the powers of taxation and what the implications of those relationships were for global history. He has served in various capacities for international organizations including as president of the Medieval Academy of America.

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University of Hyderabad, Índia

Rila_MukherjeeRila Mukherjee is Professor in History, University of Hyderabad, India with a PhD in Sciences Économiques from École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris and interests in maritime and world history.

She is the Chief Editor of the Asian Review of World Histories (Brill) and project reviewer for European Science Foundation, Slovenian Research Agency, Australian Research Council and Danish Humanities Research Council.

Mukherjee was Visiting Professor in Paris, Aix-en-Provence, Shanghai, Kolkata, Santiniketan and Uppsala, and Visiting Scholar in Tokyo, Berlin, and Madrid. She is/has been a partner in the European Science Foundation project on Dynamic Cooperative Networks [DynCoopNet] (2007-2010; the ANR project L’Ocean Indien et la Mediterranee: Deux Mondes en Miroir (2009-13); the Arts and Humanities Research Council, UK, partition project from 2009; and the Murdoch University ARC project on natural hazards in the Indo-Pacific World.

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