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Dr Cathryn Pearce

Senior Lecturer

Cathryn Pearce


Dr Cathryn Pearce grew up on the Alaskan coast, which gave her an appreciation for the sea and for maritime history. She received her PhD from the Greenwich Maritime Institute, University of Greenwich, where she investigated the actual practices of Cornish wrecking, as opposed to folkloric narratives. Her previous history qualifications include a BA in History from the University of Alaska-Fairbanks and an MA in British and Maritime History from the University of Victoria, in British Columbia, Canada. She taught at the University of Alaska Anchorage and its various branch campuses for 22 years, in both a part-time capacity and full-time as a tenured professor of history.

Teaching Responsibilities

Dr Pearce teaches on the MA Naval History programme, including Naval History Research Skills, Naval History Project and Naval History Dissertation units.

Research Interests

Dr Pearce's research interests include local and regional maritime and coastal history, centring on shipwrecks and coastal communiites. This work comprises:

  • Wrecking--the plundering of shipwrecks--with focus on the development and use of wrecking narratives around the coasts of the UK.
  • Lifesaving--with particular focus on those individuals and organisations involved after survivors are brought ashore. Her current research focuses on the role of the Shipwrecked Fishermen and Mariners' Royal Benevolent Society, founded in 1839 and HM Coastguard.

Dr Pearce also holds a lifelong interest in European exploration of the Northwest Coast of North America, particularly on Royal Navy voyages

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