4S Annual Meeting: Mediated Seas, Elemental Oceans

Such a great session! I am very grateful to be included. Come on by.

Sat, September 7, 9:45 to 11:15am, Sheraton New Orleans Hotel, Floor: Four, Bayside B

Mediated Seas, Elemental Oceans

As social, technological, and political innovations and interruptions are increasingly imagined as taking place offshore, we are witnessing the advent of a new global awareness—a movement built upon the ocean’s undeniable importance to human futures, whether in its capacity to act as a lifeline or to bring about destruction. STS scholars, anthropologists, media theorists, ecocritics, and other humanists are increasingly participating in this “oceanic turn,” connecting scientific and technological advancements in ocean research and exploration to ecologies of power and livelihood. This panel interrogates oceans of and as media, focusing on the material and semiotic remakings of powerful seascapes. We draw inspiration from scholars such as Stacy Alaimo, Melody Jue, Stefan Helmreich, and others who have emphasized the specificity of thinking through water as a way of conceptualizing human entanglements with environments and technologies. Attending to material forms—of water, plastic, sand; as waves, islands, coastlines—we bring blue humanities work together with an elemental media perspective articulated by scholars such as John Durham Peters and Jeffrey Jerome Cohen, to zero in on the agential role of elements like water in constructing human subjectivities and global relations. From the sea surface to the deep sea, plastic pollution to coastal landmaking, we consider, collectively, how media and mediation render oceanic frontiers of knowledge, power, and settlement.


Entangled Elements: Between Sand & Sea. Katherine Sammler, California State University, Maritime

Visualizing the Blue Archive. Lisa Han, UC Santa Barbara

Mediating Coastal Geologies: Earth Moving and Visual Culture in Lagos, Nigeria. Ben Mendelsohn, University of Pennsylvania

Synthetic Frontiers of Mediated Seas. Kim De Wolff, University of North Texas

The Numberless Waves of the Sea. Stefan Helmreich, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Session Organizer: Lisa Han, UC Santa Barbara
Chair: Kim De Wolff, University of North Texas

Source: 4S Annual Meeting: Mediated Seas, Elemental Oceans


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