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Fluid Frontiers: New Currents in Marine Environmental History

A collection of essays on the history, meaning and materiality of the marine environment

By: John R Gillis(Editor), Franziska Toma(Editor)

225 pages, b/w illustrations

White Horse Press

Hardback | Mar 2015 | #222181 | ISBN-13: 9781874267867
Availability: Usually dispatched within 5 days Details
NHBS Price: £54.99 $71 / €63 approx

About this book

There is a blue hole in environmental history. The thirteen essays in this very accessible collection fill it by closing the gap between land and sea, by exploring the ways the earthly and maritime realms influence one another. What has too often been described as the 'eternal sea' is shown to be remarkably dynamic. Ranging widely from Australia to the Arctic, from ocean depths to high islands, a new generation of humanists and scientists trespass the boundaries of their own fields of inquiry to tie together human and natural histories. They reflect contemporary concerns with declining fisheries, damaged estuaries, and vanishing coastal communities.

Here the history of oceanic sciences meets that of literary and artistic imagination, offering vivid insights into the meanings as well as the materiality of waves and swamps, coasts and coral reefs. In their introduction, John Gillis and Franziska Torma suggest the directions in which the fluid frontiers of marine environmental history are moving.


Introduction. John R. Gillis and Franziska Torma
1. Waterlands of the Semi-Wild: Making Nature From the Swamp. Adam Keul
2. Filling Boston Commons: Law, Culture, and Ecology in a Seventeenth Century Estuary. Christopher L. Pastore
3. Escaping the Maritime Revival Viewpoint. Glenn Grasso
4. Beneath the Surface of the Pacific Waters: John Steinbeck’s (Deep) Ecological Explorations. Petr Kopecky

5. To the Islands: Ecological Imperialism on the North-West Australian Coast. Joseph Christensen
6. Old and New Waves. Stefan Helmreich
7. Fishing Communities in Eighteenth Century Iceland. Stuart Morrison
8. Modernity and Marine Environmental History: Georges Bank Fisheries, 1905-12. Matthew McKenzie
9. Producing Ocean Territories and Mapping Ghosts: Stories from the production of the New England Fisheries Management. Rob Snyder

10. From Cook to Cousteau: The Many Lives of Coral Reefs. Alistair Sponsel
11. The Arctic Ocean as Outdoor Laboratory: Polar Research Traditions and the First International Polar Year. Alexander Kraus
12. The Ocean Seen as Tridimensional Social Space: The Case of the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Christian Fleury
13. The First Steps toward a ‘Correspondence Principle’ in Ecology: The Horizontal and the Vertical of Oceans and Islands. Michael Reidy

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John R. Gillis is Professor Emeritus of History at Rutgers University in New Jersey, USA, now dividing his time between summers on a small island in Maine and a permanent residence in Berkeley, California. He is author of Islands of the Mind ( 2004) and The Human Shore: Seacoasts in History (2014). He intends to keep working at the margins, where the most fascinating things are always to be found.

Franziska Torma is Assistant Professor in European Cultural History at the University of Augsburg. She has published on the history of mountaineering, animal protection issues in Africa and colonialism, with special reference to Germany's colonial culture and ideology. Her research interests include the history of science, the cultural and environmental history of the nineteenth and twentieth century, postcolonial studies and approaches of the spatial turn. Her current research project is entitled 'Germany's Seven Seas: Marine Biology and Environmental Globalism during the Long Twentieth Century'.

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