Ocean Ecologies and Imaginaries

Elizabeth DeLoughrey
UC Los Angeles


Kyle Cavanaugh
UC Los Angeles

Una Chaudhuri
English and Drama
New York University

Christopher Connery
UC Santa Cruz

Jacob Darwin Hamblin
Oregon State University

Stephan Helmreich
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Bonnie Monteleone
Plastics Ocean Researcher
UNC Wilmington

Lizabeth Paravisini-Gerbert
Hispanic Studies
Vassar College

Phil Steinberg
Durham University

Linda Williams
School of Art
RMIT University

There has been an “oceanic turn” in scholarship of the past decade. “Ocean Ecologies and Imaginaries” moves beyond ocean as metaphor to engage it as an ecology, resource, nexus of biopiracy, place of sea-level rise, mineral extraction, waste dumping, and artistic performance. The project is concerned with work that focuses in and of the sea, rather than its crossing. In an era of climate change that is made visible by sea-level rise, the oceanic imaginary takes on new urgency and valence, and demands multiple disciplinary approaches. “Ocean Ecologies and Imaginaries” establishes a dialogue about how “oceanic ecologies and imaginaries” function in each of our respective fields, to workshop and submit four essays to the Journal of Transnational American Studies and prepare the launch of an online E-book project bringing the groups interdisciplinary engagements, particularly visual representations, to the general public.