Sea & the City: A Red Star Line Assemblage in Antwerp (Belgium)

Author(s): Maxime Poulain

Year: 2020


This is a paper/report submission presented at the 2020 annual meeting of the Society for Historical Archaeology.

In contrast to what films as Titanic would make believe, scientific knowledge on ocean liners is fairly limited. These boats, and their material culture, however functioned as symbols of modernity par excellence and thus allow a better understanding of the advent of a new world at the turn of the 19th and 20th century. In this paper, an assemblage is presented of ceramics belonging to the Red Star Line, the shipping company transporting some two million migrants from Antwerp (Belgium) to the United States between 1873 and 1934. As such, this material provides a new insight into the provisioning and daily life aboard of these ships. The reuse of these maritime objects ashore moreover shows to what extent ordinary households in Belgium embraced the values associated with these mass-produced goods and unveils patterns of large- and small-scale mobility, between continents and within a single city and street.

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Sea & the City: A Red Star Line Assemblage in Antwerp (Belgium). Maxime Poulain. 2020 ( tDAR id: 457257)

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advertising Capitalism recontextualization

Geographic Keywords

Temporal Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: 2.542; min lat: 49.509 ; max long: 6.398; max lat: 51.487 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 277