Sound, Sense, and Sea: Mediating Aquatic Environments
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7/16/2018 at 7:02:13 AM GMT
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Sound, Sense, and Sea: Mediating Aquatic Environments


Please email paper proposals to Lisa Han ( by August 6, 2018. Proposals must include (1) a title, (2) an abstract no longer than 2500 characters (including spaces), (3) 3-5 bibliographic sources, and (4) a bio no longer than 500 characters. Panelists will be informed of decisions by August 14, 2018.

This panel examines aquatic media, considering contemporary assemblages of technology, water, and culture. The past decade has initiated shifts from landed to aquatic contexts in many fields of study, including anthropology (Helmreich 2009), literature (Blum 2010, Cohen 2010, Shewry 2015), film and media studies (Jue 2014), archaeology, history of science (Rozwadowski & van Keuren 2004), and geography (Lehman 2013, Steinberg 2001). This renewed interest in the history and cultures of the seas has alternately been called the “blue humanities” (Mentz 2015) and the “oceanic turn” (Deloughrey 2017). This work considers the political and social stakes of repurposing aquatic landscapes for communication, transportation, and resource extraction. Moreover, in the present geological epoch known as the Anthropocene (Crutzen and Stoermer 2000), the ocean has become an important index for tracking sea level rise, rising temperatures, the carbon cycle, and other climate change-related research.

In this panel, we will consider both how water mediates human society and how it, in turn, is mediated by technology. How do film and media texts represent oceans, rivers, lakes, and other bodies of water? How do they take into account abyssal darkness, high pressures, turbidity, circulation, and the “slow violence” (Nixon 2011) wrought by ocean warming and acidification? How do we visualize the changing composition of seawater and its effects on marine life in ways that might excite action? How might theoretical frameworks such as those stemming from Indigenous perspectives, environmental justice, feminist science studies, multispecies ethnography, and materialism inform or guide our thinking about watery relations?

We welcome examinations that include but are not limited to the following themes:

-marine ecosystems

-elemental media

-media ecologies

-ocean documentary and fiction

-seafloor exploration

-deep sea imaging

-ocean sensing and sampling

-Mediation of rivers and streams

-sound/sonic media

-environmental justice

-global fluid flows (heat, chemical, and mineral circulations)

-underwater vehicles

-fishing and fisheries

-shipping and maritime logistics

-ports and coastal communities

-seafloor geology and media

-offshore resource extraction

-mapping and bathymetry

Last edited Friday, July 27, 2018

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