The World Oceans Decade starts now! Celebrating World Oceans Day, and a Sea Change with The Posthumanities Hub

Submerged sustainability at the sea edge with ocean literacy and blue humanities across art and science

The United Nations has proclaimed a Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development 2021-2030 to support efforts to reverse the cycle of decline in ocean health and gather ocean stakeholders worldwide behind a common framework that will ensure ocean science can fully support countries in creating improved conditions for sustainable development of the Ocean.

Today, 8 June 2020, a start on this decade, stand out as the world oceans day! At the Posthumanities Hub we celebrate this day with a short description of our research on ocean literacy, blue and oceanic humanities, and low trophic mariculture across art and science. 

All through the extended history of Earth, the coast line has been a zone of unrest where waves and tides have forged life and land on this planet. Oceanic algae, once terraforming Earth into a breathable planet, still produces most of our oxygen. The edge of the sea remains a strange and beautiful place, as Rachel Carson remarked with all its wondrous creatures in mind (1955/1998, The Edge of the Sea). Low-trophic marine zones, with kelp and other macro-algae (seaweeds), oysters, mussels and sea urchins, provide a host of benefits to various organisms, humans included, in providing many species with sanctuary and mitigating the eutrophication of the sea. Comparing this zone to the forests, Charles Darwin (1839, Voyages) observed on the sheer “number of living creatures of all Orders whose existence intimately depends on kelp”, and warned of the insurmountable effects should it perish (Filbee-Dexter et al. 2016, Filbee-Dexter and Wernberg 2018). Today, kelp forests and mussel beds are receding with the warming waters of climate change. They seem to in fact slowly perish however nutritious and beneficial they are for many species, including humans (Aksnes et al 2017). In dire times of environmental degradation, ocean acidification, and climate change, it is about time we turn our attention and appreciation to such low-trophic creatures and to the tidal zone of mariculture, as in this postdisciplinary arts and humanities project, submerged.

Sea Change at a glance

Sea Change is a postdisciplinary knowledge and capacity-building project on the potential of coastal mariculture aiming to connect marine sciences, natural history, cultural heritage and sustainability engineering with arts and environmental humanities research. The overall goal is to deepen ecological understanding and culturally contextualize scientific insight in eco-feminist theory, posthumanities and coastal communities so to stimulate society’s cultural imagination and invite a sea change of ethical responses to the state of sea life. In order to catalyse such change, this project will examine and unlock the transformational potential of eating, socializing and thinking with low tropic sea life and mariculture initiatives.

This project is a collaboration with KTH sustainability scientists, spatial practioners Cooking Sections, and Bonniers Konsthall. It involves the following researchers from The Posthumanities Hub: Cecilia Åsberg, Caroline Elgh Klingborg, Janna Holmstedt, and Marietta Radomska, and acknowledge the edible inspiration of the Lofoten International Art Festival 2019 and its Kelp Congress.   

An edible and yummy bladderwrack from the shores of Lofoten, Norway. Photo: Cecilia Åsberg

Who are the feminist environmental and environmental justice heroes currently MISSING from Wikipedia?

Recognizing that Wikipedia is the first point of entry for curious people everywhere, we are launching a new project to increase the representation of key environmental figures on the Wikipedia platform. We are especially interested in women, people of color, and social justice activists, as well as in terms, concepts, or key historical events in the realms of environmental justice and feminist environmental practices.

Who are the people, concepts, or events you have found missing from Wikipedia? Who is there, but needs a more up-to-date or more nuanced entry?

Please feel free to consult either the Swedish or English-language sites, and specify below from which Wikipedia your person, concept, or event is missing. For example, perhaps the English site has a person the Swedish site does not, or vice versa. We aim to update pages for both audiences.

Over the next few months, we’ll be focusing on adding and revising entries within the broad areas of environmental justice and feminist environmental studies, and we’ll keep you posted about our results.

Call for Applications: Residencies at the Seed Box Environmental Humanities Collaboratory

The Seed Box now invites applications for three one-month residencies at Department of Thematic Studies, Linköping University, Sweden. We will appoint one residency for a PhD-candidate, one associate professor (or mid-career scholar) and one artist. The purpose of this call for applications is to foster the work of promising and established scholars and artists in the field of environmental humanities.  

The application deadline is August, 17, 2018.

The advertisement and the full profile description can be found at the following pages: 

for PhD-candidates and mid-scholars: https://theseedbox.se/call-for-applications-residencies-at-the-seed-box-environmental-humanities-collaboratory-linkoping-university-sweden-2/

for artists: https://theseedbox.se/call-for-applications-artist-residency-at-the-seed-box-environmental-humanities-collaboratory-linkoping-university-sweden/

 

ANNOUNCING THE LAUNCH OF HERBARIA 3.0

Persian_Translation_of_Dioscorides_Pedanius_of_Anazarbos
Kitāb-i ḥashāʼish (16th Century). Persian translation of “De materia medica,” by Dioscorides of Anazarbos. This illustrated herbal provides detailed descriptions of the structure and medicinal properties of plants, trees, and minerals (via HERBARIA 3.0).

via HERBARIA 3.0 team:

We are excited to share Herbaria 3.0, a new website featuring the intertwined stories of plants and people. Plants are everywhere, and everyone has a story to tell about a plant. Our website offers a collaborative place for sharing your story and reading the stories of others. You can access the website at www.herbaria3.org and you can follow the project on Instagram @herbaria3.0.
Herbaria 3.0 emerged in part to counter an epidemic of “plant blindness,” or the inability to seethe plants that surround our everyday lives. Without recognizing the plants around us, we cannot recognize that plants are essential: they give us medicines and metaphors, gardens and garlands, perfumes and poetry. Yet plants are not just objects for our fascination or use: they have their own wants, needs, and desires. They exhibit complex behaviors in response to equally complex stimuli. Plants exist in a world of complex relationships that are often hidden from human view.
On our site, you’ll find writing prompts that can help guide you in writing your own story. You’ll also find a shortcut tool that enables you to upload a photo of a plant and answer just a few questions about the photo. You can also read more about our name and what our rebooted “Herbaria 3.0” is all about.
Herbaria 3.0 is a collaborative digital environmental humanities project led by a team of researchers in different academic fields in the United States and Sweden. The website is open access and nonprofit. Its development in this pilot stage was supported by a grant from the Seed Box Environmental Humanities Collaboratory of Linköping University, Sweden, in turn funded by Mistra, the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research, and Formas, the Swedish Research Council for Sustainable Development.
For more information or for press materials, please contact us at herbaria3@gmail.com.