Project Description: TRANSMIT

TRANSMIT. Transmission of Maritime Knowledge

Project coordination: Ulrike Gehring (Trier), Pascal Arnaud (Lyon)

Contributors: Michel Bochaca, Christophe Cérino, Jannik Eikmeier, Dorothee Fischer, Thomas Kirchner, Sylviane Llinares, Jean-Marie Kowalski, Andreas Lammer, Christoph Schäfer, Christian Rollinger, Mathias Tranchant

Sailing the seas requires a lot of theoretical knowledge and practical know-how. Routine actions are integrated into strictly organised procedures, accurately calculated courses enable safe navigation and a trained view of the stars allows to orientate even at night. These skills are part of a permanent exchange that takes place individually, through social groups or institutions. In contrast to the major maritime histories, we are not interested in a succession of innovations. TRANSMIT asks about the modalities of knowledge transfer and knowledge exchange between seafarers, scientists and artists. Therefore we first try to identify the actors and communities; in a second step we locate the virtual or real spaces of interaction (sea spots), where maritime knowledge is recorded. Only in a cross-epochal analysis of theoretical, practical and action knowledge can patterns and forms of standardisation as well as selection of maritime knowledge by actors, groups and their cultural environment be identified. If we also consider the question of the dynamics between innovation and tradition, the result is a cross-disciplinary and cross-epochal analysis of maritime knowledge transfer, which, through a deeper understanding of constants, developments and ruptures, allows us to gain insight into the emergence and structure of maritime cultures in words and images.

The unique nature of the project is explained by the complementary composition of the research group, in which historians, art historians and representatives of practice (naval education, École Navale) work together across disciplines in order to better understand interdisciplinary transfer processes in the longue durée from antiquity to the present.

Contact: U. Gehring | P. Arnaud