Latest post

‘Joseph Banks, Science, Culture and the Remaking of the Indo-Pacific World’: Announcement of AHRC-funded Network Project and Call for Papers

Announcement of Joseph Banks AHRC-funded Network Project


The National Maritime Museum (NMM), together with University College London (UCL), the Royal Society, the National Portrait Gallery  (NPG) and other project partners, is delighted to have been awarded an Arts and Humanities Research Council Network Grant on ‘Joseph Banks, Science, Culture and the Remaking of the Indo-Pacific World’, which commenced on 1 June 2016.


The Network will bring together interdisciplinary and international groups of scholars from universities, libraries, museums and galleries to build on recent scholarship and to discuss new avenues for research in the build-up to the 200th anniversary of Sir Joseph Banks’s death in 1820.


A programme of events will include three academic workshops: the first will take place at UCL,  focusing on the historiography of Banks; the second workshop, at the  NPG, on  Science, Self-fashioning and Representation in Joseph Banks’s Circle; and the third, at the NMM, will focus on Banks and the Maritime World. A  larger, open conference at the Royal Society, will form the culmination of the network project in September 2017.


More details on the project including the steering committee, research outline, and the event programme, including  dates of the workshops and lists of workshop speakers, can be found at More details, including paper abstracts and blog posts, will be added to the webpage as the project develops.

Joseph Banks, Science, Culture and the Remaking of the Indo-Pacific World

This Arts and Humanities Research Council-funded research network project will bring together international, interdisciplinary scholars to discuss new avenues of research on Joseph Banks and the Indo-Pacific World



Call for Papers


The final  conference at the Royal Society, entitled ‘Joseph Banks: Science, Culture and Exploration’, will  take place on 14-15 September 2017 and will explore the intersections of Enlightenment science, culture, commerce and empire through the figure of Joseph Banks, his correspondents, circles and networks.  We are delighted that Professor David Igler, University of California, Irvine and Professor Kapil Raj, Centre Alexandre-Koyré, Paris  have agreed to give keynote addresses at the conference. We hope that the conference will attract speakers from a range of historical disciplines – including the histories of science, culture, art, anthropology and the maritime world – and will reflect the global contexts of Banks’s interests, influence and legacies.  We are particularly keen to receive proposals that see Banks as a starting point for new scholarly understandings of the worlds in which he moved. We anticipate that the conference will bring a broader and more nuanced appreciation of this energetic and powerful figure, and that it will play an important part in the development of a larger research project.  We encourage proposals from both the heritage and HE sectors and we anticipate that at least a selection of the papers given at the conference will be published.

Proposals including a title and abstract of no more than 500 words should be emailed to Sally Archer at no later than 16 October 2016

Contact us


To submit a proposal or to find out more about how you can be part of the Network, please contact the project coordinator Sally Archer at the National Maritime Museum at:


We would be grateful if you could please circulate this announcement, including the Call for Papers for the conference, to anyone you think would be interested. Thank you.

Sons of the American Revolution Visiting Professorship at King’s College London for 2017


Invitations are extended for expressions of interest for the position of Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) Visiting Professor at King’s College London for 2017.


The Georgian Papers Program aims to digitize, disseminate, and interpret an extraordinarily rich collection of materials, including correspondence, maps, and royal household ledgers.  Making this extensive collection of approximately 350,000 items available to scholars the world over, the project will transform our understanding of the Georgian period, in Britain and through its connections in the wider world.


In furtherance of these goals, King’s College London and the SAR invite expressions of interest to join the academic staff of the university and to contribute to the interpretation of the archive.


One Visiting Professorship will be awarded annually for each of the academic years 2017 and 2018 (and subject to the review of the program by the SAR possibly also 2019 and 2020).  King’s College London and the SAR welcome expressions of interest from academics of international standing drawn from any relevant discipline.


  • SAR Visiting Professors will have direct, regular access to the Georgian Archives at Windsor Castle and individual workspace at King’s College London. This will include access to College libraries and those of the University of London as well as the British Library and The National Archives at Kew.
  • Each professorship will be expected to make a significant contribution to increased public understanding and appreciation – both in the USA and UK –of the decades surrounding the American Revolution and in so doing contribute to academic discourse within the university.
  • Visiting Professors will work on their own research and will be invited to lead an academic seminar or series of seminars on the interpretation of the archive in relation to their own work. They will also be available to staff of the Georgian Papers Program for consultation about interpretation and dissemination.
  • Professors will be required to prepare a paper relating to their area of study and use of the Royal Archives and offer the paper to the SAR for publication. They will also be asked to speak about their work in relation the King’s College London and the Royal Archives at SAR events.


Professorships are expected to be of eight-week duration, but subject to faculty discussion may be spread across more than one term.  Funding directly available to professors includes £15,500 to cover a return flight to the US, hotel accommodation and subsistence and books.  Funding up to £4,000 has been allocated to support UK travel and administrative support.  The university will also host a major public lecture and hospitality for up to 200 guests.


King’s College London is a recognized hub for the interdisciplinary study of the eighteenth century.  The Centre for Enlightenment Studies consists of 25 academics from eight departments and draws on a range of expertise in the field of literature, cultural and intellectual history, science and medicine, music, languages, philosophy and religion, naval and military history.  King’s runs a highly successful MA in 18th Century Studies with the British Museum.  King’s Department of Digital Humanities and the Archival Service equally have a track record of ground breaking research and delivery in the fields of digital access and data interpretation.


King’s is delighted to be working with The Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) and is grateful for their support which will enable us to attract leading international academics to join the work of Georgian Paper Program.  The SAR is an historical, educational, and patriotic, non-profit corporation whose members are direct descendants of the men and women who supported the cause of American Independence during the years 1774-1783.  The SAR’s headquarters is in Louisville, Kentucky, but its members are located in all fifty states of the United States and throughout the world.


Applicants should forward their curriculum vitae and a letter of expression of interest to Joseph W. Dooley, Chairman of the SAR King’s College London Partnership Committee at by September 30, 2016.  The final decision on the appointment shall be made by King’s.

A book launch and lecture of ‘Crusoe’s Island: A Rich and Curious History of Pirates, Castaways and Madness’ (Faber & Faber, September 2016)

From acclaimed naval historian Andrew Lambert, Crusoe’s Island charts the curious relationship between the British and an island on the other side of the world: Robinson Crusoe, in the South Pacific. The tiny island assumed a remarkable position in British culture, most famously in Daniel Defoe’s novel. Andrew Lambert reveals the truth behind the legend of this place, bringing to life the voices of the visiting sailors, scientists and artists, as well as the wonders, tragedy and violence that they encountered.

‘Superbly evocative . . . With its thrilling, even hypnotic naval narratives, Lambert’s book feels very reminiscent of Patrick O’Brian’s wonderful Jack Aubrey stories.’ – Dominic Sandbrook, Sunday Times on The Challenge
Andrew Lambert is Professor of Naval History in the War Studies Department, a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and also Director of the Laughton Naval History Unit housed in the Department. His work focuses on the naval and strategic history of the British Empire between the Napoleonic Wars and the First World War, and the early development of naval historical writing. He received the 2014 Anderson Medal for The Challenge: Britain against America in the Naval War of 1812.
His books include Nelson: Britannia’s God of War, Admirals: The Naval Commanders Who Made Britain Great and Franklin: Tragic Hero of Polar Exploration. His highly successful history of the British Navy, War at Sea, was broadcast on BBC Two.

There will be a reception following the book launch on Monday 12th September at King’s College London. To register for this free event please follow the instructions on the link below: