History of Ocean Science, Technology and Medicine
Historians of science have recently begun to examine role of the oceans themselves in human activity, not just as a pathway between places that matter, but as a place with a history of its own, with which humans have always interacted. In turning their gaze to the other two thirds of the earth's surface, scholars thus acknowledge the oceans as a changeable and changing place, affecting and affected by human activities. This "oceanic turn" is playing out in the humanities broadly, as scholars in many disciplines explore the role of the oceans in human endeavors including labor, culture, politics, industry, law, or literature. Spanning many different periods and regions around the world, this group will examine broad conceptions of oceans across history.
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Tuesday, October 18, 2022 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm EDT
Urna Mukherjee, Johns Hopkins University, "Malabar Teak" and "Bengal-made Canvass": Indigenous Expertise in Eighteenth Century Shipbuilding in British Colonial Bombay and Calcutta
Tuesday, November 15, 2022 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm EST
Samantha Muka, Stevens Institute of Technology
Tuesday, December 20, 2022 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm EST
The working group will not meet this month.
Tuesday, January 17, 2023 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm EST
Lino Camprubí, Universidad de Sevilla
Tuesday, February 21, 2023 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm EST
Kunyan Zheng, Trinity College Dublin, "Medical knowledge of marine fish in early modern England"
Tuesday, March 21, 2023 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm EDT
Nancy Ko, Columbia University
Tuesday, April 18, 2023 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm EDT
Dominik Hünniger, Universität Hamburg "The museum at sea - collecting ecologies of marine micro-fauna at the Museum Godeffroy (ca. 1861-1885)"
Tuesday, May 16, 2023 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm EDT
Natalia Gándara Chacana, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaiso, Chile
September 20, 2022
Jack Bouchard, Rutgers University, New Brunswick.
Two chapters from his manuscript Terra Nova: Work, Water and Food in an Early Atlantic World
August 16, 2022
"Oceans in the Archives"
Join us as a panel of archivists introduce us their collections on ocean history, finding aids and funding for researchers.
Laura Kissel, Polar Curator (Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center Archival Program, The Ohio State University)
Daniel Lewis, Dibner Senior Curator History of Science & Technology (The Huntington Library, Art Museum & Botanical Gardens)
Josh Levy, Historian of Science and Technology (Manuscript Divison, Library of Congress)
July 19, 2022
"Oceans in Museums"
Join us as a panel of museum professionals share their favorite objects and collections, discuss the challenges of curating ocean exhibits, and share resources for researchers.
Dr. Erika Jones, curator of navigation and oceanography, (UK) National Maritime Museum
Dr. Katrin Kleemann, postdoctoral researcher, Deutsches Schifffahrts Museum
Dr. Kevin Sheehan, collections manager, Maritime Museum of San Diego
June 21, 2022
"Teaching Ocean History"
Join us as a panel of historians discuss their experiences teaching the history of oceans to students in various academic contexts. We will also precirculate their syllabi for discussion.
Helen Rozwadowski (University of Connecticut, Avery Point)
Samantha Muka (Stevens Institute of Technology)
Jonathan Galka (Harvard University)
Jack Bouchard (Rutgers University)
May 17, 2022
Jakobina K. Arch, Whitman College, "Mitigating Risk: Cultural and Economic Adaptations to Oceanic Dangers in Tokugawa Japan."
April 19, 2022
Katherine Sinclair, Rutgers University, " 'A Magnificent Natural Zoo': Domesticating the French Kerguelen Islands."
March 15, 2022
Alison Glassie, Mahindra Humanities Center, Harvard University, "Ninety Perfect Sealskins: Toni Morrison’s Counter-history of Sealing."
February 15, 2022
Beatriz Martínez-Rius, Sorbonne Université, "International science, salt domes, and oil: deep-sea drilling in the Mediterranean."
January 18, 2022
Magdalena Grüner, Universität Hamburg, "Else Bostelmann’s Abyssal Visions and the Ocean-Surreal"
November 16, 2021
Emily Hutcheson, University of Wisconsin-Madison, "Seeing Ecologies of the Deep and Shallow Seas: Local Labor and Knowledge in the Malay Archipelago, 1899-1900"
Penelope K. Hardy is a historian of science, technology, and medicine and an assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. She studies the historical intersection of technology and the ocean sciences. Her current book project examines a series of nineteenth- and twentieth-century ocean-going research vessels and the cultures and practices surrounding their use. She is also editing a four-volume primary source collection, tenatively titled Knowing the Oceans, 1790-1914: A Global Documentary History, for Routledge Historical Resources.
Daniella McCahey is an Assistant Professor at Texas Tech University, where she primarily teaches on British history and the history of science. She studies the relationship between science and the environment in Polar Regions, especially islands, coasts, and ice shelves. She is the co-author of Antarctica: A History in 100 Objects (Bloomsbury 2022). Her book project, Laboratories at the Bottom of the World, addresses the history of British and New Zealand science in Antarctica during the International Geophysical Year.
Katharina Steiner received her Ph.D. in History from the University of Zurich. She currently holds a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellowship as a cooperation between the University of Geneva and the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Her research focuses on the intersection of visual culture and knowledge production. Her book project, Visualizing Marine Biology: Fishermen, Copepods and the Naples Zoological Station, uses the Naples Zoological Station as a case study to show how social organization and work culture shape research programs and scientific products, and vice versa. Her new research project “Depicting Species” investigates the functions and meanings ofscientific imagery and how they changed over time, genres of publication, and audiences.