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BLUE Reading Workshop: 7 May 2021

Join the third reading seminar of the BLUE project.

16.04.2021 | Mia Korsbæk

Dato fre 07 maj
Tid 15:00 16:30
Sted zoom

BLUE is pleased to invite you to our third Reading Seminar on 7 May 2021 from 3 to 4.30. 


For this reading workshop, we’ll be discussing Rachel Carson’s first book, Under the Sea-Wind (1941). Although Carson described this as her favorite publication, it gathered less public renown than her later books, in part because its release nearly coincided with and was overshadowed by the bombing of Pearl Harbor.


The book is relevant for BLUE conversations in multiple ways: a classic ocean text, it was one of the first tomes to describe the ocean as an ecosystem – as a complex web of relations. The three-part book describes the shore, open ocean, and sea bottom, as well as the connections among them. In doing so, it opens fundamental questions about relations across land, water, and sky, as well as the evolutionary entanglement of land mammals – with their calcium skeletons and salty blood – with the worlds of the sea.


Overall, Carson’s poetic yet scientifically rigorous work helps us continue to ask: How–in past work–has the ocean been engaged through disciplinary border-crossings? Carson explicitly grapples with the onto-epistemic difficulties of ocean ethnography and ocean otherness: “To get the feeling of what it is like to be a creature of the sea requires the active abandonment of many human concepts and human yardsticks” (pg 5). In response, she experiments with writing the ocean via particular strategies of characterization, narration, and anthropomorphism.


Although immersive in many ways, Carson (in contrast to Wild Blue Media, which we discussed in Workshop 1) does not emerge out of bodily submersion: Carson allegedly could not swim, disliked boats, and made only one dive, years after writing this book.


Our discussion will focus on the book as a whole as it is relatively short (162 pages) and written in more accessible, literary prose. Participants will need to acquire their own copies of the book, which is widely available via libraries, bookstores, etc.


BLUE member Heather Swanson (Anthropology) will kick off the discussion with a few questions.


To sign up for the workshop (to be held on Zoom), send an email to Mia Korsbæk at korsbaek@cas.au.dk


Please feel free to forward this invitation to friends and colleagues.

Seminar, Antropologi