CFPs in Renaissance Intellectual History

Sea Changes: Historicizing the Ocean, c. 1500 - c. 1900

Source of Information: FICINO 1999-07-19
Date of Event: 2000-07-20 to 23
Location of event: Greifswald, Germany
Deadline for abstracts etc.: 1999-09-30


Sea Changes:
Historicizing the Ocean, c. 1500 - c. 1900

An interdisciplinary conference
to be held at the University of Greifswald, Germany
20-23 July, 2000

The aim of this international conference is to explore material and
methodological sea changes in the cultural history of oceans, ships,
and mariners. Contemporary debates about globalization,
transculturation, transnationality, contact zones, the multiplicity
and non-synchronicity of cultures and histories invite us to regard
the ocean as a historical location whose transformative power is not
merely psychological or metaphorical. The sea, whether as the
Black Atlantic, the quasi-arcadian Pacific, or the mediterranean
omphalos, has been the site of radical changes in human lives and
national histories. It has been crossed by vessels of discovery, by
immigrant ships, slave ships, pirates, merchant ships, warships, and
notorious pleasure steamers, many of which have left their mark on
the bottom of the sea but which - more importantly - have decisively
shaped human history.

We invite papers that emphasize this transformative historical
function of ships, their crews and passengers, and of the ocean
itself. We encourage submissions from scholars of various disciplines
(both 'before' and 'behind the mast') who seek to combine, in an
interdisciplinary fashion, various aspects of the general theme. Topics
could include (but are by no means limited to) the links (and / or
contradictions) between the material and metaphorical uses of ships and
oceans; the sea as a historical site of cultural confrontations and
displacements, of different forms of travel, of voyages of exploration and
of colonial conquest; the representational functions of ships and the sea
in literature, culture, and science; the cartography and cultural
geography of maritime spaces; the diverse communities of seafarers; etc.
Despite the temporal boundaries expressed in the conference title, themes
may include 20th century historical imagination in film and literature;
and we are particularly interested in papers that offer a gender-critical
view of the subject matter (e.g. the feminization of ships, homosociality
on shipboard, female tars, etc.).

The conference, jointly organized by the universities of Greifswald
and Dortmund, will be hosted by Greifswald. Located at the Baltic Sea near
the Polish border, this small and ancient Hanse town and former haunt of
the famous pirate Klaus Stoertebecker offers a fascinating maritime

Key note speakers will include Peter Hulme, Greg Dening, Marcus
Rediker, and Susan Bassnett. Proposals are welcome from anyone
interested in the topic, from established academics to research
students. Please send abstracts of no more than 300 words, by 30
September 1999, to either:

Bernhard Klein
Institut fuer Anglistik und Amerikanistik
Fachbereich 15
Universitaet Dortmund
44221 Dortmund
Fax: +49 (0231) 755 5450


Gesa Mackenthun
Institut für Anglistik / Amerikanistik
Universitaet Greifswald
Steinbecker Str. 15
17487 Greifswald
Germany Fax: +49 (03834) 863366

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