CfP “Oceans Disconnect”, Nov 2022
On 21 and 22 November 2022, global dis:connect will host the international workshop Oceans Disconnect. The workshop is organised by David Armitage (Harvard), Sujit Sivasundaram (Cambridge) and Roland Wenzlhuemer (Munich). The Call for Papers is now open and can be found in our calls section or directly here. Submission deadline is 15 May 2022.
Over the past three decades, the rapidly expanding historical literature on oceans and seas has traditionally been framed around the geographical units of the world’s water bodies; it has been directed towards tracking long-distance connections, so as to problematise the political and specialist organisation of historical knowledge around “nation”, “area” and “civilisation.” Yet the promise of the first, boosterish, phase of oceanic history has lately ebbed. Globalisation now looks more reversible and halting. And transnational historians more generally are examining disconnection rather than connection as a dynamic in world history. Along these lines, new work in oceanic history is insisting on particularity, friction, interruption, materiality and resistance. There is growing attention to the critical foundations of connection, where people, things, ideas, legal systems, could demonstrate instability, violence, and invisibility at the very nodes of globalisation. And historians are increasingly focusing on the choke-points within the world’s oceans: straits and narrows, gulfs and bays; pirates’ nests and contested waters; natural disaster and commercial risk; closed seas and maritime limits, among other topics. This workshop will interrogate the underside of connection and the dynamics of disconnection in oceanic history.