The Global / Oceanic / Nineteenth Century: Preliminary Program

Kevin Morrison's picture
Subject Fields: 
Atlantic History / Studies, Australian and New Zealand History / Studies, Maritime History / Studies, World History / Studies, British History / Studies

To celebrate the launch of Global Nineteenth-Century Studies (GNCS), the Society for Global Nineteenth-Century Studies (SGNCS) will host a two-day symposium on oceanic approaches to nineteenth-century culture, ecology, economics, history, and politics in a range of global contexts. Intentionally broad in scope, the symposium seeks to cross-map nineteenth-century studies with key currents of the blue humanities, the Black and circum-Atlantic, Indian Ocean studies, oceanic ecologies, post- and decolonialism, maritime globalization, and beyond.  We are delighted to share the preliminary program. The majority of the panels and events will be held in Los Angeles at the Doheny campus of Mount Saint Mary’s University. To facilitate global connections and conversations, the symposium will also feature live panels and audience participants in Hong Kong, Singapore, Macau, and Australia.


[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


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”

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: [title TBA; synchronous panel from Australia]
Kathleen A. Davidson (University of Sydney), “‘Looking Like Lace-Work in Ivory’: Transmedia Experience and New Coral Realms in the Global Nineteenth Century”
Penelope Edmonds (Flinders University), “Emancipation Acts on the Oceanic Frontier? Intimacy, Diplomacy, Colonial Invasion and the Legal Traces of ‘Protection’ in the Bass Strait World, 1832”
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”
Jennifer McDonell (University of New England), 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

7:30 pm                      conference dinner


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”
Sebastián Diaz-Duhalde (Dartmouth College), “Whales, Whalers, and an Unframed Map of Argentine Patagonia during the Nineteenth Century”

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


To learn more about the symposium or register your attendance, please visit


To learn more about the Society for Global Nineteenth-Century Studies, please visit

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