The Global / Oceanic / Nineteenth Century

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We are pleased to share the final program for "The Global / Oceanic / Nineteenth Century," an international symposium being held in Los Angeles, 5-6 November, with synchronous panels in Hong Kong and Sydney. The symposium celebrates the formal launch of Global Nineteenth-Century Studies, a journal published by Liverpool University Press on behalf of the Society for Global Nineteenth Century Studies ( Anyone who wishes to join us in person may do so for a nominal registration fee. An option to be a virtual audience member is also available. Registration closes 1 November. For complete information on the symposium, visit



[NB: All listed times are local to Los Angeles. Please also note that Daylight Savings Time will end on Sunday, 6 November at 2:00 am.]

8:30-8:45 am              symposium welcome

Kevin A. Morrison (Henan University) and Mark Celeste (Hampden-Sydney College), co-organizers

8:45-10:15 am            session 1: Hydrographies: (Re)writing Oceanic Spaces
Dharitri Bhattacharjee (Western Washington University), “M. V. Portman and Oceanic Separateness: Reclaiming Colonial Archives as Archives of the Seas”

Carla Manfredi (University of Winnipeg), “Atoll Depth: The Case of the Funafuti Expedition, 1896-98”

Remi Poindexter (The Graduate Center, CUNY), “Palm Trees and Drydocks: The Presence and Omission of the Fort-de-France Drydock in Carvalho's Martinique Photographs and their Afterlife in Ink”

Robert Batchelor (Georgia Southern University), “Ocean Media In the Nineteenth Century: The Case of Indigenous Mapping in the Pacific”

Charne Lavery (University of Pretoria and University of the Witwatersrand), respondent

10:15-10:30 am          break

10:30 am-12:00 pm    session 2: Waterborne Encounters and Contact Zones

Yangjung Lee (University of California, Los Angeles), “A Permanent Occupation: British and American Maritime Rivalry in Mid-Nineteenth-Century Central America”

Stephen Berry (Simmons College), “America’s Competing Imperialisms: Missionary and Maritime Conflict in the Sandwich Islands”

Douglas Fix (Reed College), “Expanding Entanglements in the Treaty-Port World”

Shivam Sharma (University of Delhi), “Imagined Identities: The Muddle of Colonial Knowledge Sphere”

Adrian Shubert (York University), respondent

12:00-1:00 pm            lunch

1:00-2:30 pm              session 3: Dockside Politics
CoCo Tin (Harvard University), “Fleeting Ferries for Oceanic Connectivity: Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour as Site”

Henry Snow (Rutgers University), “‘My Brother’s Mechanical Contrivances’: Global Dockside Labor and the Rise of Victorian Political Economy”

Jacqueline Barrios (University of Arizona), “London Bound: Ships, Space and the Transurban Imaginary” 

Kevin P. McDonald (Loyola Marymount University), respondent

2:30-3:30 pm              keynote address

Alice Te Punga Somerville (University of British Columbia), “‘The Gauguin won’t distract you, will it?’: nineteenth-century distractions”

3:30-3:45 pm  break

3:45-5:15 pm              session 4: Oceanic Materialities:  Corals, Cyclones and Shipwrecks
[synchronous panel from Australia]

Jennifer McDonell (University of New England), panel chair

Kathleen Davidson (University of Sydney), “‘Looking Like Lace-Work in Ivory’: Transmedia Experience and New Coral Realms in the Global Nineteenth Century”

Alexis Harley (La Trobe University), “Darwin's Coral Sublime”

Killian Quigley (Australian Catholic University and University of Sydney), “Lively Remains: Excessive Presences of a Nineteenth-Century Wreck”

Rosemary Williamson (University of New England and Australian National University), “‘Ugly Cyclonic Squalls in Our Fair Tropics’: Weather, Ocean and Vulnerability in The Pearling Disaster, 1899: A Memorial”

Grace Moore (University of Otago), respondent

5:15-5:30 pm              break

5:30-7:00 pm              session 5: Port Cities and Maritime Cultures in the Asia-Pacific [synchronous panel from Hong Kong]
Joshua Ehrlich (University of Macau), “Studying Port Cities ‘from the Margins’”

Gary Luk (Chinese University of Hong Kong), “The Opium War (1840-42) and the British Littoral Frontier in China”

Tamara Wagner (Nanyang Technological University), “‘Exiles in this stoke-hole of empire’: Narrative Expectations and the Modern Port-City in Hugh Clifford’s Singapore”

Klaudia Lee (City University of Hong Kong), “Fantasy and the Everyday in Port Cities and their Imaginaries”

Julia Kuehn (University of Hong Kong), respondent


8:30-10:00 am            session 6: Oceanic Ecologies
Kate Stevens (University of Waikato), “Of Whales and Worms: Multispecies and Multiscalar Histories across Pacific Waters”

Jessica Howell (Texas A&M University), “Colonial and Postcolonial Literary Ecologies of the West African Coast”

Ann Garascia (California State University, San Bernardino), “Bluish Green: Collecting Water, Locating Terroir in Anna Atkins’s Cyanotypes of British and Foreign Ferns”

Michelle Decker (Scripps College), respondent

10:00-10:15 am          break

10:15am-12:00 pm     roundtable: Margaret Cohen (Stanford University), Boyd Cothran (York University), and Jimmy Packham (University of Birmingham)
Mark Celeste (Hampden-Sydney College), moderator

12:00-1:15 pm            lunch

1:15-2:45 pm              session 7: Representing the Black Atlantic
Susan Zieger (University of California, Riverside), “‘Souls on Board’: Logistics and Counter-History in the Recovery of Slave Ship Wrecks”

Kyle McAuley (Seton Hall University), “Abolition, Empire, and Oceanic Realism; or, One Material History of Salt Water”

Mylynka Cardona (Texas A&M University-Commerce), “Reparations, Respectability, and the Public Legacy of Slave-Ownership”

Humberto Garcia (University of California, Merced), respondent

2:45-3:00 pm              concluding remarks

Global Nineteenth-Century Studies is a forum for scholars from a wide array of disciplines who share an interest in the world’s connectedness between 1750 and 1914. It publishes pioneering essays of transnational, comparative, transimperial, transpacific, and transatlantic significance while also serving as a venue to debate these terms and their corresponding methodologies and epistemologies. Investigating material culture forms, visual and literary texts, ideas, and sentient beings that transcend national boundaries, essays in GNCS are asked to engage critically with mobility and migration, imperialism and colonialism, and production and distribution, as well as travel, technologies, and varieties of exchange. The journal welcomes submissions that explore developments within and among imperial entities, regions, and nations. Members of the Society for Global Nineteenth-Century Studies receive a two-year subscription to the journal.