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Humanities: Land Sea Space Current Events

Oceanic Humanities Symposium

November 7-8, 2019


In tandem with urgent calls for the protection of oceans, seas, and coastal communities from the effects of global warming and pollution, humanities and humanistic social science disciplines have been experiencing an ‘oceanic’ or ‘blue’ turn. Recent work in history, literary studies, philosophy, cultural geography, anthropology, communication, and the arts has produced a vibrant body of research exploring relationships between marine spaces, species, and people. New conversations have emerged between the humanities and the natural sciences, sparking imagination and critical engagement with respect to issues and topics marginalized by land-based scholarship. This symposium seeks to foster cross-disciplinary conversations among faculty, invited speakers, and students at Texas A&M, as well as the broader community, with respect to the histories, poetics, and conservation futures of the planet’s oceans.


(Symposium Poster .jpeg)

Thursday, 7 November

Location: Memorial Student Center 2300B

1:45pm Registration Coffee and tea available

2:00-2:15pm Opening remarks

Emily Brady (Director, Glasscock Center and Professor, Philosophy)

Session 1 Histories

Chair: Kevin Crisman (Nautical Archaeology/Anthropology, Texas A&M)

2:15-3:00pm Kevin Dawson (History, University of California, Merced)

“History Below the Waterline: Enslaved Salvage Divers Harvesting Seaports’ Hinter-Seas, c.1540-1840”

3:00-3:45pm Alistair Sponsel (Center for Humanities & History of Modern Biology, Cold Spring Harbor Lab)

“Barriers and Guardians: A Brief HIstory of Ideas and Emotions about Coral Reefs”

4:15-5:30pm Opening Keynote Lecture

Helen Rozwadowski (History and Maritime Studies, University of Connecticut)
“Visualizing the Undersea: Science, Technology, Culture, and Imagination in Nineteenth-Century Representations”

Chair: Emily Brady (Director, Glasscock Center and Professor, Philosophy)

5:30-6:30pm Reception

Friday, 8 November

Location: Memorial Student Center 2300D

9:00am Coffee and tea available

9:30-10:45am Keynote Lecture

Laura Winkiel (English, University of Colorado, Boulder)
“Jean Rhys and the Sargasso Sea”

Chair: Jessica Howell (Glasscock Center / English, Texas A&M)

10:45-11:00am Break Coffee and tea available

Session 2 Poetics

Chair: Dennis Berthold (Professor Emeritus, English, Texas A&M)

11:00-11:45am Jennifer Hill (English, University of Nevada, Reno),

“Displacement: Oceanic Meanings”

11:45am-12:30pm Siobhan Carroll (English, University of Delaware)

“Jane Austen’s Oceanic Ecologies”

12:30-1:30pm Lunch

Session 3 Conservation Futures

Chair: Diego Gil Agudelo (Director of Research / Marine Sciences, Texas A&M, Galveston)

1:30-2:15pm Pamela Plotkin (Texas Sea Grant/Oceanography, Texas A&M)

“Sea Turtle Conservation for the Anthropocene Ocean”

2:15-3:30pm Kim De Wolff (Philosophy, University of North Texas)

“New Texas and the Synthetic Frontiers of Ocean Plastic Pollutions”

3:30-3:45pm Break Coffee and tea available

3:45-4:30pm Panel discussion and closing remarks

Chair: Susan Egenolf (English, Texas A&M)

6:30pm Film showing: Anote’s Ark, followed by a discussion chaired by Gary Varner (Philosophy, TAMU).
Visit the film’s website to view a trailer.

This event is free and open to all.
Please also visit the pop-up exhibition related to the Oceanic Humanities at the Cushing Library. The pop-up exhibition begins November 7th.