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Mayline Strouk (STIS, University of Edinburgh CWTS, Leiden University)
Bronte Evans Rayward (University of Cambridge)
Oscar Hartman Davies (University of Oxford)
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Traditional Open Panel

Short Abstract:

The contemporary environmental crisis requires the development of creative conversations and storytelling. We invite STS scholars to interrogate these challenges further by responding to past or present, diverse seabird lifeworlds.

Long Abstract:

Seabirds are beings whose trajectories often encompass the sea, the sky, and the land. By seeking to understanding seabirds as individuals within species, or as ‘atmospheres’ (Lorimer et al. 2017) or ‘cyborgs’ (Haraway 1991), or with other theoretical approaches, we might tell varied environmental stories and open opportunities to think through forms of geographical boundary-making. Seabirds can provide the opportunity to interrogate the construction and preservation of networks of interactions that exist within, outside and across environmental, social, political, and economic boundaries.

We draw from research into animals' mobilities (Hodgetts and Lorimer 2020), animal atmospheres and multi-species agencies and consider these literatures within the context of STS research discussing circulating knowledge and networked construction of place. We encourage a variety of approaches to explore the materiality and spatiality of ocean beings circulating above and sometimes below sea level.

It is common to many seabirds that their foraging ranges traverse vast geographies. Seabirds often display a lifeworld to humans that converge interactions across marine, aerial, and terrestrial space and thus blur the varied political, economic, and environmental contexts often understood as bounded territory, or somehow geographically distinct.

We welcome empirical and conceptual contributions seeking to go beyond a one-dimensional approach to ocean space and materiality, whether seabirds are their primary research subject or peripheral in their analysis. We hope to receive papers related (but not limited) to:

- Historical perspectives on seabirds

- Seabirds as technologies and technologies for seabirds

- Seabirds as sentinels of climate change

- The blue economy and its effect on seabirds’ life trajectories

- Seabirds as lively capital and/or commodities

- Seabirds as charismatic/invasive species

- Speciesism and multiplicity of seabirds

- More-than-human geographies of field science (Forsyth, 2014)

- Seabirds as a metaphor (of what?)

- Other flying animals encompassing material dimensions and bounded geographies

Accepted papers: