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Jo Stanley

Consultant in maritime history and creative lifestory

Welcome to my website

I'm a creative historian who works with museums, universities and in the community.

Jo StanleyMy especial interest is in the stories of people who have led marginalised lives in the past - and sought adventure, freedom and the space to be all they are, and might become.

In particular this means recording people, or helping them write their stories. They tend to be people who've taken jobs at sea despite the odds (like women and non-white people) or LGBTQI people - for whom seagoing meant sometimes queer heaven and sometimes injustice.

Cut LassShips are hypersexualised spaces. As a would-be sexologist as well as cultural historian, that's fascinating to me. They're heterotopias (meaning other places, like Wonderland) and liminal zones, which means they explain a lot about our societies on land.)

I live in Marsden in the Pennines, and work a lot in London and abroad. At the University of Hull's Maritime Historical Studies Centre I am an Honorary Research Fellow.

What they say about me

'Jo Stanley has for many years now fearlessly explored the depths of maritime history. She has discovered so many treasures that she herself has become a treasure. Read From Cabin 'Boys' to Captains and find out why.'
Marcus Rediker, author of Outlaws of the Atlantic, Distinguished Professor of Atlantic History at the University of Pittsburgh.
'Your articles are concise, revealing, heartfelt, funny, and very necessary.'
(Dr Ray Walsh, John Moores University)
'You've written probably the most innovative essay ever in the historiography of mobilities.'
(Dr Peter Norton, Editor, T2M Yearbook, University of Virginia)
'I've been a fan of your work for a long time, as it really opens new and fun horizons for maritime history.'
(Henry Trotter, author and Yale University/University of Cape Town).

What's next

24 May 2016. Finland.
Come to my evening talk: Women at Sea: Pioneers in the world's history, Maritime Museum, Mariehamn, Aland islands, Finland

27 May 2016. Stockholm.
Women at Sea: Pioneers in the world's history, Vasa Museum, Stockholm 13.00-15.00.

3 June 2016. London. National Maritime Museum.
My paper Not in hand-to-hand combat but certainly waging war: Merchant and Royal Navy women's roles on sea and land in WW1. At the The First World War at Sea, 1914-1919 Conference.

4 June 2016. Southampton.
Launch party for From Cabin 'Boys' to Captains: 250 years of women at sea, on the Shieldhall. Plus optional cruises before and after, captained by Clare Holmes. Booking code WAS.

13 June 2016. Glasgow.
Women ahoy! A Bumper Seafaring History Event for Women and Girls, at The Tall Ship at Riverside.11.00-13.00.