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P050


1
Live Recording  
Rising Sea Politics: Governance, Communities, Commons
Convenors:
Nikolas Kosmatopoulos (American University of Beirut)
Venetia Kantsa (University of the Aegean)
Discussant:
Nikhil Anand (Penn University)
Format:
Panels
Time zone:
UTC+1
Sessions:
Friday 24 July, 8:30-10:15, 11:00-12:45

Short abstract:

The seas are rising; also politically. New modes of oceanic governance are emerging. Parallel to this, there is a rising interest in the sea by action-focused and theory-oriented communities. How could oceanic commons help anthropology engage with debates about possible futures and better societies?

Long abstract:

The seas are rising; also politically. New modes of oceanic governance are emerging. Geo-locating technologies are bounding seascapes; mechanical, biological, and aqua-cultural advances are laying foundations for corporate investment and state-sponsored "blue growth"; security and extractionist regimes expand their jurisdictions. Parallel to this, there is a rising interest in the sea by action-focused and theory-oriented communities. Communities are formed through awareness of the emerging regime of oceanic governance and often rise against it engaging in multiple forms of contestation and negotiation. At the same time, critical scholars are building upon long traditions of inquiry into ocean realms to challenge conventional frames about the past and future of the relationship between society and the sea. Τhus, recent research in anthropology not only focuses on ethnographies of "waterworlds" that explore social life as configured by water (Hastrup and Hastrup 2017) but also in how material entities -such as sea, seawater, ocean - have been shaped and reshaped by rhetorics of gender, race, class (Helmreich 2017) as well as by "terraqueous solidarities" (Kosmatopoulos 2019). We invite papers that address the phenomena described above, and/or the following questions: • How could the idea of oceanic commons help anthropology engage with debates about different possible futures and/or ideas for imagining better societies or socialities? • How the politics of the sea could help us to readdress ontological, intersectional, or post-human relations? • How does a perspective from the sea enhance our understanding of imperial, colonial, and decolonial, gendered and sexualized relations and legacies?

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