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Kotwica 1

Maritime Workshop


25th and 26th of June 2024

Venue: Institute of Slavic Studies, Polish Academy of Sciences, ul. Jaracza 1,  Warsaw, Poland

Embark with us on a maritime odyssey through oceanic history during our Maritime Workshop - From Archives to Actions. Join us on 25 June and explore the historical practices that have shaped maritime studies. Immerse yourself in the seafaring saga of Gdańsk (Danzig) in the late Middle Ages, set course for the intricate connections between the Baltic Sea and the Atlantic Ocean in the early modern period and navigate the dangerous waters of pirate encounters in the South Atlantic. Delve into the depths of the Indian Ocean's and explore how voyages of natural history objects and knowledge in the Indian Ocean World have contributed to the evolution of modern science. Discover the dynamic rhythm of seafaring across continents in the Portuguese merchant navy.

Continue your maritime expedition on 26 June when we turn our attention to the practical aspects of the oceans and sail into the realm of databases. Steer through treacherous encounters with pirates and scour databases for information on naval raids in the South Atlantic. Embark on a voyage into the fascinating realm of Maritime Archaeology and its intricate relationship with data. As we navigate through the seas of history, we'll uncover the quantitative and qualitative dimensions of maritime archaeological searches. Explore the unique stories of inhabitants of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth who served in the ranks of the Dutch East India Company (VOC) during the 17th century. Set sail on an exploration of the extensive resources of the SlaveVoyages and navigate these records to learn about the broad origins and forced relocations of more than 12 million African people who were transported across the Atlantic in slave ships, and hundreds of thousands more who were trafficked within the Americas. And finally dive into the depths of the MAPE Project's Atlantic database and unlock its secrets and treasures. Don't miss this unique opportunity to delve from the archives into the vast field of maritime studies.



25 of JUNE

DAY 1: From Archives: Historical Practices in Maritime Studies

9:00- 9:15

Welcome and Introduction: Dr Agata Błoch, Dr Clodomir Santana, Prof. Tomasz Wiślicz

9:15 – 10:15

Prof. Beata Możejko: From the Baltic to the Atlantic. Maritime history of Gdansk in the late Middle Age


Dr John Freeman: World’ beyond the Sound: Considerations of Baltic Sea and Atlantic Ocean Entanglements in the Early Modern Period

11:30 – 12:30

Dr Adriano Comissoli: A prey of great importance: maritime predation in the portuguese Atlantic, 17th-18th centuries

13:45 – 14:45

Dr Pankoj Sarkar: Maritime World at the Evolution of Modern Science: Voyages of Natural History Objects and Knowledge in Indian Ocean World

15:00 – 15:45

Presentation of the Doctoral Project of Eduardo Sartoretto: Workers of the rebellious seas: dynamics of seafarers in the Portuguese merchant navy across America, Africa and Europe (1750-1822) (on-line)

15:45 - 16:00

Final Discussion


26 of JUNE

DAY 2: To Action: From Manual Extraction to Digital Tools 


Time: 10.00 - 14.00

Dr. Rafał Szmytka: Inhabitants of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in the ranks of the VOC during the 17th century. 

Dr Adriano Comissoli & Dr Hugo A. F. F. Araújo: Pirate encounters: online database on maritime predation in the South Atlantic - methodological perspective

Dr Jelmer Vos - TBC (Slave Voyages)

PhD Student Jay Mok: Maritime Archaeology and its Data: Quantitative and Qualitative

PhD Student Eduardo Sartoretto, Dr Clodomir Santana and Dr Agata Bloch – Project MAPE Dataset


Digital Experts: Piotr Jaskulski, Dr Jan Wieczorek, Dr Adam Zapała


Adriano Comissoli is adjunct professor at Federal University of Santa Maria, Brazil, working at the Department of History since 2016. His research includes the Portuguese and Spanish empire in the 18th and early 19th centuries, their institutions, elites and ruling systems. His current research focuses on intelligence systems and espionage in South America and algo on maritime predation. He completed his PhD in 2011 at Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.


Beata Możejko, Director of Memling Research Center, University of Gdansk (Poland),  Full Professor of History, specializes in medieval history and the auxiliary sciences of history.

Member of the Editorial Committee [PL: Komitet Wiedzy] of the Gdańsk Encyclopedia (Gedanopedia); One of her main research topics is maritime issues related to Gdańsk and other Hanseatic cities in the Middle Ages. She also conducts interdisciplinary research – crops in maritime Gdańsk – in cooperation with the Faculty of Biology of the University of Gdańsk and wrecks from the Bay of Gdańsk in cooperation with the National Maritime Museum. Author: 150 articles and seven monographs for example, Peter von Danzig: The Story of a Great Caravel, 1462-1475, Northern World, nr 86, 2020, Brill.


Clodomir Santana is a postdoctoral researcher at the Tadeusz Manteuffel Institute of History, Polish Academy of Sciences. His current work explores hidden narratives within approximately 170,000 official correspondence documents spanning nearly two centuries of the Atlantic Portuguese Empire's history. Prior to his current position, Clodomir earned his PhD in computer science from the University of Exeter, UK, where he focused on exploring the social dynamics of nature-inspired computer algorithms through the lens of network science. His research interests include digital history, metaheuristics, network science, human dynamics, artificial intelligence and natural language processing.


Eduardo Sartoretto is a Doctoral Student in The Anthropos Doctoral School, Tadeusz Manteuffel Institute of History, Polish Academy of Sciences. He holds a master's degree in History from the Federal University of Santa Maria (UFSM), in Brazil. He is a history teacher in Brazilian public education, and a researcher in Social History, Political History, American History, Maritime History and Atlantic History, from the late 18th and early 19th centuries, especially the period relating to Latin-American independence. His master's thesis deals with the process of independence of the United Provinces of the Rio de la Plata, focusing on the use, participation, action, and organization of privateers during the wars of independence. His current research focuses on understanding the organization, thoughts and actions of sailors and marines in the Portuguese merchant navy during the Age of Revolutions.

Hugo A. F. F. Araújo has been conducting postdoctoral research at the Federal University of Santa Maria since 2019, with funding from CNPq and FAPERGS. His research includes the political communication of the governors-general of the State of Brazil and the war against the Dutch in Pernambuco. Currently, he is researching defensive policies against maritime predation in the Portuguese Atlantic and has developed the Encontros Piratas database for this purpose. He completed his PhD in 2018 at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro.

Jay Mok is currently a DPhil student at the University of Oxford. Originally from Hong Kong, Jay has worked with the University of Hong Kong between 2016 to 2023 on projects related to digital communication, cultural heritage, and maritime culture. Prior to joining the University of Oxford, she co-led undergraduate fieldworks to various part of mainland China, including but not limited to Tibet (Lhasa, Shigatse, and Dingri regions/Everest Basecamp), Xinjiang (Turpan, Urumqi), Yunnan (Zhongdian/Lisu, Burma-China border regions), Sichuan and nearby autonomous regions (Garzê, Ngawa/Aba, Zoigê/Yellow River upper-turn), to understand our relationship with waters. 


John Freeman is an assistant professor at the University of Warsaw, working with the Warsaw Centre for Global History. His research concerns the networks which facilitated

eastern Baltic encounters and interactions with the early modern colonial Atlantic Ocean. He is particularly interested in the Duchy of Courland and its attempts at colonial expansion from the Baltic to the Caribbean and Western Africa in the seventeenth century. He completed his PhD in 2021 at the University of Cambridge before working on the Baltic Sea programme at the Centre for Geopolitics, Cambridge and the Interdisciplinary Centre for Baltic Sea Research in Greifswald, Germany.


Pankoj Sarkar is working at the University of Warsaw. Broadly, his area of research interest is science and society, particularly the history of environment, agriculture, and maritime and  also teaches a course on science and society. Previously he was a fellow at the German Maritime Museum—Leibniz Institute for Maritime History and before Joining Leibniz Institute for Maritime History, he completed PhD from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, India. Currently, he is working on the monograph based on his PhD thesis. The tentative title of the monograph is—The Emergence of Agricultural Science, Scientist and Knowledge in Colonial India. His current research focus is on understanding the evolution of environmental science and knowledge production in the Indian Ocean world, especially from the mid-19th century onwards. 

Rafał Szmytka is assistant professor at the Department of Historical Anthropology at the Institute of History of the Jagiellonian University. He is interested in the environmental history and culture of the Low Countries in the modern era, history of image and iconography, literary culture, and the social care of the cities of Brabant and Flanders. He is the co-editor and co-author of Krakow: An Ecobiography published in 2021.




Piotr Jaskulski holds a Master's degree in Archaeology (Institute of Archaeology, University of Warsaw) and is a passionate programmer and data scientist. He has worked both at the National Archaeological Museum in Warsaw and at large IT companies such as Asseco. He is currently working in the Digital History Laboratory of the Institute of History of the Polish Academy of Sciences on the application of natural language processing methods in historical research, handwriting text recognition and knowledge databases (wikibase)


Jan Wieczorek, ex Wrocław University of Science and Technology / CLARIN-PL (Temporarily freelance researcher in several projects at IH PAN, IBL PAN, NCN) Linguist (graduated from the University of Wrocław), ex member of the Artificial Intelligence Department of Wrocław University of Science and Technology, util april 2024 was involved in CLARIN-PL - a pan-European research infrastructure that provides digital language resources and tools for processing large collections of texts in Polish.  At CLARIN-PL, he served as a linguistics expert and user involvement officer - the person responsible for contacts with researchers. He is also involved in the work of the DARIAH consortium and research activities in digital humanities and digital social sciences. He is particularly interested in the use of tools for topic or stylometric analysis of texts and also in the field of open research data.

Adam Zapała - Ph.D., head of the Digital History Lab at the Department of Historical Atlas of the Institute of History, Polish Academy of Sciences. His research interests include the history of Polish relations with the Apostolic See in the second half of the 15th century, as well as the use of digital tools in historical research. He was the principle investigator of "Digital Research Infrastructure for the Humanities and Arts – DARIAH-PL" at the Institute of History, Polish Academy of Sciences. Currently, he is also a staff member at the Centre for Medieval Studies at the Catholic University of Lublin.


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