Ocean Worlds, Ocean Histories, 30 May 2014

Friday 30 May, 2pm-5.30pm (followed by drinks) – Common Room, History Faculty

 Prof. David Armitage (Harvard; Astor Visiting Lectureship)
‘Oceans of Time: Reflections on the Atlantic, the Pacific and the Longue Durée?’

 Prof. Nicholas Purcell (Brasenose, Oxford)
‘New Uses for Old Seas? Mediterranean Circulation and History on a Very Large Scale’

Concepts of marine and ocean worlds have been a part of historical discourse since Fernand Braudel’s La Méditerranée et le Monde Méditerranéen à l’Epoque de Philippe II (1949). They have been extended to Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Ocean ‘worlds’. Yet oceanic approaches are not without problems. They can arguably marginalize their own islands, as with ‘Pacific Rim’ history; play down inland and amphibian interactivity, as with some iterations of the ‘Mediterranean world’; and mask older orientations in the garb of trans-nationalism, as Allan Karras argues is the case with ‘Atlantic history’ (in J. Bentley ed, The Oxford Handbook of World History, 2011). It also could be suggested that some ocean worlds are better seen as segments of ‘world systems’. Are ‘oceanic worlds’ still useful for historians? What is, and what should be, their relationship with national, trans-national, diasporic, and global history?

Convenors: Prof. James Belich (Balliol), Dr Jan-Georg Deutsch (St Cross), Dr Margret Frenz (St Cross)

 Places are limited and registration is essential. To register email global@history.ox.ac.uk

‘Ocean Worlds, Ocean Histories’ workshop, 30 May 14 poster