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.
 

Upcoming Meetings

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Participants at Consortium activities will treat each other with respect and consideration to create a collegial, inclusive, and professional environment that is free from any form of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation.

Participants will avoid any inappropriate actions or statements based on individual characteristics such as age, race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, nationality, political affiliation, ability status, educational background, or any other characteristic protected by law. Disruptive or harassing behavior of any kind will not be tolerated. Harassment includes but is not limited to inappropriate or intimidating behavior and language, unwelcome jokes or comments, unwanted touching or attention, offensive images, photography without permission, and stalking.

Participants may send reports or concerns about violations of this policy to conduct@chstm.org.

  • Tuesday, June 15, 2021 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm EDT

    We will meet for a wrap-up/discussion of the year's meetings, asking members to identify together themes and questions that arise organically from the papers we've discussed so far. We'll also start planning for the fall; if you have ideas, requests, or questions about presenting a paper to the working group, bring them!


  • Tuesday, July 20, 2021 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm EDT

    Presenting at a conference this summer? Attended a really good panel? Come tell us about it! We'll meet in July for a meet-and-greet and conference round-up. Bring your conference reports, publication announcements, and news for this informal get-together.


  • Tuesday, August 17, 2021 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm EDT

    TBA
    *NOTE SPECIAL TIME*



Past Meetings

  • May 18, 2021

    Jennifer Hubbard, Ryerson University, "Rescuing the World: The Food and Agriculture Organization and the Quest for Efficient Scientific Administration in World Fisheries"  


  • April 20, 2021

    Katharina Steiner, University of Wisconsin-Madison, "Changing Audiences, Changing Meanings: Haeckel’s Copepods and Biology’s Popular Culture"


  • March 16, 2021

    Samm Newton, University of Wisconsin-Madison, "Pteropods Realized: From Bio-indication to Bio-inspiration"


  • February 16, 2021

    Larrie Ferreiro, George Mason University, "The Technology of Armed Oceangoing Ships and the Rise of Overseas Empires" 


  • January 19, 2021

    Emily Hutcheson, University of Wisconsin-Madison, "'So-called' coral reefs: The Global Circulation of Algological Knowledge through Imperial and Scientific Networks 1896-1930" (from her dissertation in progress) 


  • November 17, 2020

    Tamara Fernando, University of Cambridge, "Seeing like the Sea: a Multi-Species History of Labour, Capital and Science Underwater at the Pearl Fishery of Ceylon 1800-1925"


  • October 20, 2020

    Will Scates-Frances, Australian National University, "Captain Vanderford's Rule" (from his dissertation "Faces of Nature: The Race Thinking of Charles Pickering on the United States South Seas Exploring Expedition 1838-1842")


  • September 15, 2020

    Sean Fraga, University of Southern California, "Settler Steamboats: Mobility, Settler Colonialism, and Steam Power in the Terraqueous Pacific Northwest, 1846–1872"


  • August 18, 2020

    Vaughn Scribner, Central Arkansas University, selections from his new book Merpeople: A Human History (Reaktion Books, 2020)


  • July 21, 2020

    Christine Keiner, Rochester Institute of Technology, selections from her new book Deep Cut: Science, Power, and the Unbuilt Interoceanic Canal (University of Georgia Press, 2020).


Group Conveners

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  • pkhardy's picture

    Penelope Hardy

    Penelope K. Hardy is a historian of science and technology 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.

     

  • dmcahey's picture

    Daniella McCahey

    Daniella McCahey studies the relationship between science and the environment in Polar Regions, especially islands, coasts, and ice shelves. Her current book project examines British and New Zealand science in Antarctica during the IGY and she has also begun a research project on the environmental history of South Georgia. 

     

  • Katharina's picture

    Katharina Steiner

    Katharina Steiner received her Ph.D. in History from the University of Zurich. She currently holds a Marie Skłodowska-CurieFellowshipas 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.

     

109 Members