We look forward to hosting Jacob Steer-Williams for the second time in two years. He along with co-author Blake C. Scott will join us to discuss, Port Cities of the Atlantic World, a perfectly assembled record that traces the connections of maritime routes and those historical networks that link port cities, and also history around the Atlantic world. From the introduction of the book we understand the importance of their focus – “The history of ports is, in great measure, the history of civilization.” —Frederick W . Morgan, Ports and Harbours, 1958. And in bringing the study up to the 20th century in the collection’s final section, they make the case for the lasting influence of these port cities—and Atlantic world history—on the economy, society, and culture of the contemporary South.
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About the Book:
Port Cities of the Atlantic World brings together a collection of essays that examine the centuries-long transatlantic transportation of people, goods, and ideas with a focus on the impact of that trade on what would become the American South. Employing a wide temporal range and broad geographic scope, the scholars contributing to this volume call for a sea-facing history of the South, one that connects that terrestrial region to this expansive maritime history. By bringing the study up to the 20th century in the collection’s final section, the editors Jacob Steere-Williams and Blake C. Scott make the case for the lasting influence of these port cities—and Atlantic world history—on the economy, society, and culture of the contemporary South.
About the Authors:
Blake C. Scott Historian, writer, Associate Professor of International Studies, Blake C. Scott is interested in the diverse cultures and ecologies that connect the Caribbean with the US South. At the College of Charleston, he teaches in the International Studies Program, examining a range of issues related to globalization and global environmental change. He is the author of the book Unpacked: A History of Caribbean Tourism (Cornell University Press) and co-editor of Port Cities of the Atlantic World: Sea-Facing Histories of the US South (University of South Carolina Press). His articles include pieces in the journal of Environmental History, the Journal of Tourism History, The Huffington Post and Charleston’s Post and Courier, among others. His research has received funding from the Fulbright Program, the Smithsonian Institution, the University of Texas at Austin, and the School of Languages, Cultures, and World Affairs at the College of Charleston. When not in the classroom or deep into reading and writing, you can find Dr. Scott wandering and wondering through the marshes and waterways of the Lowcountry.
Jacob Steer-Willams Professor Steere-Williams holds two professional appointments in Charleston; as Associate Professor of History at the College of Charleston, and as President of the Waring Historical Library at MUSC. His interests are in the history of disease, medicine, and the environment across the Atlantic World, including the South Carolina Lowcountry. Professor Steere-Williams is a Fellow of the prestigious Royal Historical Society of the UK. He is the author of the 2020 book The Filth Disease: Typhoid Fever and the Practices of Epidemiology in Victorian England (University of Rochester Press), and with Blake Scott Port Cities of the Atlantic World; Sea-Facing Histories of the US South (University of South Carolina Press, 2023). In addition to dozens of articles and book chapters, Professor Steere-Williams writes for broad public audiences, including The Post and Courier, The Washington Post, The LA Times, CNN, Time Magazine, The Lancet, and The British Medical Journal. He also serves as the Director of the MA Program in History at the College of Charleston, and the Associate Editor of the Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences with Oxford University Press.