Maritime History and Its Discontents: A Response to Smith and Chaves


  • Lincoln Paine


This article attempts to put the comments of authors Joshua Smith and Kelly Chaves regarding maritime history into perspective. In so doing, it asserts that arguments created to classify maritime history within other disciplines diverts energy from new research in a field that should be considered strong enough to stand on its own merits.

Author Biography

Lincoln Paine

Lincoln Paine is a maritime historian, editor and author whose books and articles include Ships of the World: An Historical Encyclopedia (1997), Down East: A Maritime History of Maine (2000), “Beyond the Dead White Whales: Literature of the Sea and Maritime History,” International Journal of Maritime History (2010), and Beyond the Sea: A Maritime History of the World, to be published by Alfred A. Knopf. He is also a contributor to the Oxford Encyclopedia of Maritime History (2007), Oxford Companion to World Exploration (2006), the Berkshire Encyclopedia of World History (2005) and the ABC-Clio Encyclopedia of World History (2011). He is completing a doctoral dissertation (“Maritime Enterprise and Institutional Change in Medieval Eurasia”) at Leiden University. He is also an editor of Itinerario: International Journal on the History of European Expansion and Global Interaction, and curator and archivist of the Norman H. Morse Collection of Ocean Liner Materials at the Osher Map Library, University of Southern Maine in Portland, Maine. A graduate of Columbia University in New York City (1981), before turning to history he spent fourteen years as an editor of trade non-fiction and reference books.