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Students and faculty excelled at maritime history conference

July 22, 2021 | Brandy Gottlieb, CASSH Communications |

A student presents at a conference
Alexandra Nash, M.A. in Traditional History candidate, presents at the 2021 North American Society for Oceanic History.

This June, students from fourteen universities participated in the North American Society for Oceanic History, hosted by UWF. The event was largely sponsored by the UWF Department of History, UWF Historic Trust and the Florida Public Archaeology Network. Other partners included RECON Offshore and the Naval Historical Foundation. 

The North American Society for Oceanic History, which began in 1971, was developed by a group of prominent maritime scholars as a forum to highlight maritime history. 

NASOH, held annually, shines a light on maritime history, archaeology and related museum activities. 

Students delivered presentations and engaged in roundtable discussions, primarily moderated by the Department of History faculty. 

Courtney Boren is pursuing an M.A. in Historical Archaeology at UWF. She presented her research, “Maritime Connections through the Native American Landscape at the Bay of Ochuse.” Boren concentrated her work on the ways in which maritime resources have shaped the history of Native American sustenance and culture. She used documents from the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries, which reflected archaeological research pertaining to Native Americans, such as the Ochuse and the Panzacola, in the Pensacola bay area. 

“Always push yourself one step further and take every opportunity available to you. It will be greatly beneficial."  -- Alexandra Nash, UWF Student 

Alexandra Nash is pursuing an M.A. in Traditional History. At the conference, Nash presented on the legislation and policing ordinances that caused the closure of Pensacola’s red-light district in 1917. She said her experience at NASOH was the “best any graduate student could hope for.” Nash said she met various scholars in her field, made lasting connections and learned a lot about presenting.

Nash gives her advice to students, “Always push yourself one step further and take every opportunity available to you. It will be greatly beneficial.”

UWF faculty Dr. Jamin Wells, assistant professor of history, received accolades for his most recent publication, “Shipwrecked: Coastal Disasters and the Making of the American Beach (UNC Press, 2020).” NASOH presented Wells with the “2020 John Lyman Book Award in U.S. Maritime History, North American Society for Oceanic History.” Wells said the award signifies his publication as the “best best book in U.S. Maritime History” [for 2020].