European Association for Studies of Literature, Culture and the Environment

CFP: Planet Ocean – Interdisciplinary Workshop on Contemporary Marine Environments – Extended July 14th

Deadline Extended JULY 14th

Interdisciplinary Workshop on Contemporary Marine Environments

Changing marine environments form a significant part of contemporary concerns around global warming. Rising sea-levels, microplastics, oil spills, and fishing practices are just some of the compounding environmental factors that scientific research attempts to tackle. Yet the sea is also an everyday space of both livelihood and leisure. Coastal environments are key to local livelihoods and national economies. For the individual, the sea may be a space of escape, sport, or inspiration. Indeed, the sea’s intangible nature as well as its flux and flows have influenced writers and artists from the earliest beginnings of human history. With these scientific, economic, historical, local and cultural pulls at work, the need to think comprehensively about the marine ecosphere becomes evident. If marine and coastal environments are to be preserved for future generations, then these interdisciplinary interactions must be charted and negotiated today.

With these concerns in mind, a consortium of researchers from Dublin City University (DCU) and the National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG) is organising a one-day interdisciplinary workshop on the theme ‘Planet Ocean’. Funded by the Irish Research Council under its ‘Creative Connections’ call, this consortium is comprised of researchers from diverse fields such as literature, marine ecology, classics, and chemistry. The workshop will take place on ​21st September 2019 ​at DCU’s All Hallows Campus in Drumcondra, Dublin.

The workshop aims to bring together academics and non-academics from Ireland and abroad who engage in research or daily practice related to engaging with and protecting the world’s seas and oceans. Participation is open to all who are willing to look across disciplinary and professional boundaries to ask new questions. Such questions include: how do the natural sciences engage with coastal communities and heritage pasts and presents encountered in their research? How can local knowledge and practices of engagement with the sea inform academic research into the topic? How should conflicting interests pertaining to marine resource extraction and conservation efforts be charted and negotiated? In which ways can the natural sciences, local practices, and cultural heritage inform literature, art, film, and music made about marine environments in the context of global warming? Can work in the humanities contribute to conservation efforts and community engagement projects? By seeking collaborative answers to these questions, the workshop hopes to initiate constructive, ongoing interdisciplinary and trans-institutional dialogue on marine environments.

The organising committee invites proposals for individual papers of 15 minutes from both academic and non-academic parties interested in any aspect of the topic. We also encourage submissions of creative contributions and posters for showcasing during the day. Topics can include, but are not limited to:

  • Cultural impact of coastal scientific research.
  • Interdisciplinary approaches to coastal/marine scientific research.
  • Community outreach and engagement in coastal scientific research.
  • Coastal and marine heritage pasts and presents.
  • Literary imaginations of the coast and sea.
  • Literary geographies of marine environments.
  • Anthropocene oceans.
  • Marine industries and the environment.
  • Seas and coasts in the context of migration.
  • The sea and nationhood.
  • The impact of marine environmental protection policy on local communities and livelihoods.
  • The sea as ‘final frontier’ of science and/or the imagination.
  • Gender and the sea.
  • The Black Atlantic: history; economy; empire; slavery.
  • Coastal tourism industries.

Papers should be a starting point for conversation, since all panels will be heavily discussion-based. We therefore ask that the interdisciplinary nature of your contribution is made explicit in the application. ​Please send abstracts / descriptions of creative contributions of max. 300 words, along with a short bio of max. 150 words to [email protected] by June 30. Any questions regarding the workshop can also be directed to this address. Successful applicants will be notified before the end of July.

We are delighted to be able to offer a number of Travel Bursaries (max. value €250) to help cover travel and accommodation for those without institutional support for attending. Possible applicants include Masters and Ph.D. Students, Independent Scholars, and those working in a non-academic context. Those interested in applying for a bursary must indicate this when submitting their abstracts.

There is no fee associated with participation in this workshop.

Confirmed Keynote Speaker: Prof. Callum Roberts (University of York)

The keynote speaker, Callum Roberts is Professor of Marine Conservation at the University of York (UK). His research focuses on threats to marine ecosystems and species, and on finding the means to protect them. For the last 28 years, he has used his science background to make the case for stronger protection for marine life at both national and international levels. His recent research efforts include a collaborative project with leading scientists that demonstrated how expanded ocean protection can help mitigate climate change. Prof. Roberts has published a number of books, including ​The Unnatural History of the Sea ​(2007), ​Ocean of Life ​(2012), and the forthcoming ​Reef Life (​ 2019). Prof. Roberts was the chief scientific advisor for BBC series ​Blue Planet II ​(2017).