Dr. Jonathan Stafford

Cultural historian, research asscociate in the project Archipelagic Imperatives. Shipwreck and Lifesaving in European Societies since 1800


  • 2018-2021: Arts and Humanities Research Council Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Nottingham, Department of History
  • 2015-2018: Lecturer, Media and Cultural Studies, Nottingham Trent University
  • 2011-2013: Associate Lecturer, Art History and Theory, Kingston University
  • 2011-2015: PhD, ‘A Maritime Modernity: The culture of global travel aboard the steamships of the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company’, Kingston University
  • 2009-2011: MA Cultural and Critical Studies, Birkbeck College, University of London
  • 2002-2005: BA Hons Photography, Nottingham Trent University

Research Interests

  • Maritime History, Culture and Theory
  • Historical Geographies of Maritime Mobility, particularly in relation to Imperialism and Globalisation
  • The Visual and Material Culture of coastlines
  • History and Theory of Art, particularly representations of the maritime landscape
  • Social and Cultural Theory, particularly in relation to Modernity and Imperialism


‘Home on the Waves: Domesticity and Discomfort Aboard the Overland Route Steamship, 1842-1862’, Mobilities, 14 (2019), 578-595.

‘Breaking Open the Container: The Logistical Image and the Spectre of Maritime Labour’, in Van Gelder, H and Streitberger, A, (eds.) ‘Disassembled Images’: Allan Sekula and Contemporary Art (Leuven: Leuven University Press, 2019).

‘A Sea View: Perceptions of Maritime Space and Landscape in Accounts of Nineteenth-Century Colonial Steamship Travel’, Journal of Historical Geography, 55 (2017), 69-81.


‘Maritime Art and the Shipwreck Spectator as Moral Subject’ at ‘The Cruel Sea: Death and the Sea - Historical Perspectives’, Universität Düsseldorf, 23 April 2021

‘Slow Modernity: The culture of time in colonial steamship mobilities’ at ‘Encounters: the coincidence of space, time, and subjectivity’, University of Cambridge, 16-18 September 2019

‘The Myth of Social Acceleration: Monotony and global mobilities’ at ‘Mobilities and Transformation: Understanding Societies, Economies, and Environments on the Move’, the University of Salzburg, 1-2 February 2019

‘Shipwreck and Workers: Allan Sekula, maritime logistics and representation’, at the Centre for Research in Visual Culture Seminar Series, University of Nottingham, 14th November 2018

‘The Coastal Resort Town as a Counterculture of Modernity’ at the 17th International Conference of Historical Geographers, University of Warsaw, 15-20 July 2018

‘Breaking Open the Container: The Logistical Image and the Spectre of Maritime Labour’ at ‘Disassembled Images: Contemporary Art After Allan Sekula’, Museum of Contemporary Art, Antwerp, 2-4 March 2017

‘Labour and the Sea: Capitalist Modes of Exploitation in the Nineteenth-Century Logistics Revolution’ at ‘The Arts of Logistics’, Queen Mary, University of London, 3-4 June 2016

‘Writing the Ocean in the Age of Mechanical Propulsion’ at the London Group of Historical Geographers Seminar Series, Institute of Historical Research, University of London, 12 January 2016