This conference addresses how the maritime worlds and discourses of the long eighteenth century can help us rethink the divisions of knowledge emerging in this era. Engaging scholars working on maritime history, literature, history of science, cartography, geography, museum studies and cultural studies, the conference maps two current debates (the “oceanic turn,” and the fate of the disciplines) onto a particular time and space (eighteenth-century maritime worlds) that played a central role in shaping modern disciplinarity. We aim to defamiliarize traditional narratives of disciplinarity by shifting the debate to oceanic spaces, people, and discourses. One of the panels will be devoted to the circumpolar Arctic Ocean, largely neglected by humanists even within the new oceanic turn, but increasingly of interest since the Enlightenment era, when the unique natural, social and aesthetic properties of this region encircling an ocean gained widespread attention.
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