University of British Columbia | Unceded xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam) Territory | Organizers: Mikki Stelder (University of British Columbia/ASCA), Renisa Mawani (University of British Columbia), Kristie Flannery (Australian Catholic University)
|Start date||6 May 2021|
|End date||7 May 2021|
The Oceans as Archives symposium contributes to the growing field of critical ocean studies, while intervening in the erasures and occlusions performed in scripting the field as a new critical terrain of inquiry. This two-day virtual interdisciplinary workshop brings together scholars, poets, artists, and activists to share and discuss new work that centers the ocean as a source of knowledge and a method for thinking and writing about the historical and persistent violence of settler colonialism and capitalism, and anti-colonial resistance. The symposium provides a space for sharing ideas and theories anchored in the longstanding critical traditions of Black (diaspora) studies, Pacific Islander studies, Critical Indigenous studies, Caribbean philosophy, postcolonial theory, and decolonial and anticolonial critique.
Panels explore island and ocean-centered conceptualizations of place and power, disrupting continent-dominant and Eurocentric metageographies. Participants experiment with blue humanities approaches analyzing the anthropocene, interrogating environmental degradation along coastlines connected by imperial networks. Mobilities emerges as one of the symposium’s central themes. We consider new research on historical and novel systems and technologies developed by states and corporations to police and prevent transoceanic travel, particularly those journeys undertaken by refugees. Moreover, we shed light on strategies that people fleeing violence have embraced in their search for safer sea crossings, and examine collective struggles against moves to dispossess and exploit indigenous polities.
A special ceremony to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the 1621 Dutch East India Company genocide of the Indigenous population of the Banda Islands will be an important part of the ceremony. This event addresses the relationship between Indigenous histories and resilience across oceans, from the Banda Islands to Turtle Island and Coast Salish Territories.
Organizers: Mikki Stelder (University of British Columbia/ASCA), Renisa Mawani (University of British Columbia), Kristie Flannery (Australian Catholic University)