1st Edition

Hydrofeminist Thinking With Oceans Political and Scholarly Possibilities

Edited By Tamara Shefer, Vivienne Bozalek, Nike Romano Copyright 2024
    250 Pages 66 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    250 Pages 66 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Hydrofeminist Thinking with Oceans brings together authors who are thinking in, with and through the spaces of ocean/s and beaches in South African contexts to make alternative knowledges towards a justice-to-come and flourishing at a planetary level. Primary scholarly locations for this work include feminist new materialist and post-humanist thinking, and specifically locates itself within hydrofeminist thinking.

    Together with a foreword by Astrida Neimanis, the chapters in this book explore both land and water with oceans as powerfully political spaces, globally and locally entangled in the violences of settler colonialism, land dispossession, slavery, transnational labour exploitation, extractivism and omnicides. South Africa is a productive space to engage in such scholarship. While there is a growing body of literature that works within and across disciplines on the sea and bodies of water to think critically about the damages of centuries of colonisation and continued extractivist capitalism, there remains little work that explores this burgeoning thinking in global Southern, and more particularly South African contexts. South African histories of colonisation, slavery and more recently apartheid, which are saturated in the oceans, are only recently being explored through oceanic logics. This volume offers valuable Southern contributions and rich situated narratives to such hydrofeminist thinking. It also brings diverse and more marginal knowledges to bear on the project of generating imaginative alternatives to hegemonic colonial and patriarchal logics in the academy and elsewhere. While primarily located in a South African context, the volume speaks well to globalised concerns for justice and environmental challenges both in human societies and in relation to other species and planetary crises.

    The chapters, which will be of interest to scholars, activists and other civil society stakeholders, share inspiring, rich examples of diverse scholarship, activism and art in these contexts, extending international scholarship that thinks in/on/with ocean/s, littoral zones and bodies of water. The book offers ethico-political perspectives on the role of research in ocean governance, policy development and collective decision-making for ecological justice. This book is suitable for students and scholars of post-qualitative, feminist, new materialist, embodied, arts-based and hydrofeminist methods in education, environmental humanities and the social sciences.

    . Introduction to the series Simone Fullagar 2. Preface: Hydrofeminisms and the desire for a watery “we” Astrida Neimanis  Ocean Home Toni Stuart 1. Chapter 1: Hydrofeminist scholarship and activisms in/on/with South African oceans and shores Tamara Shefer, Vivienne Bozalek and Nike Romano 2. Chapter 2: When ancestors are included in ocean and decision-making Dylan McGarry 3. Chapter 3: Collaborative innovations into pedagogies of care for South African hydrocommons Aaniyah Martin 4. Chapter 4: Surfing as a space for activism and change: What could surfing be(come)? Karen Graaff  5. Chapter 5: Mobilising More-than-human Aesthetics: Becoming Octopus as Pedagogical Praxis Delphi Carstens and Mer Roberts 6. Chapter 6: Restless remains and untimely returns: On walking and wading Adrienne van Eeden-Wharton  7. Chapter 7: Indian Ocean sea beans: Affective method in museum archives Kristy Stone 8. Chapter 8: Life and death in an ancient sea Zayaan Khan 9. Chapter 9: Relational bodies of memory, time and place: Hauntings in salty Camissa waters Joanne Peers 10. Chapter 10: Oceanic swimming-writing-thinking for justice-to-come scholarship Tamara Shefer, Nike Romano and Vivienne Bozalek  11. Chapter 11: Diffracting forests: Making home in a (post)apartheid city Barry Lewis 12. Chapter 12: Grandmothers of the sea: Stories and lessons from five Xhosa ocean elders Buhle Francis and Dylan McGarry 13. Photo essay Re-imagining troubled spaces of academia while thinking with and through oceans: Black feet on white sands Cheri Hugo Afterword: Between spin and drift, or overviews and undercurrents Meghan Judge


    Tamara Shefer is Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, University of the Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa. She primarily writes about young people, gender and sexualities. She currently focuses on post-qualitative, feminist, decolonial scholarship, including thinking with oceans for alternative knowledge and ethical living.

    Vivienne Bozalek is Emerita Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, University of the Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa, and an Honorary Professor at the Centre for Higher Education Research, Teaching and Learning (CHERTL) at Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa. She currently focuses on post-qualitative feminist, new materialist and post-humanist scholarship.

    Nike Romano teaches history and theory of design at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Cape Town, South Africa. Her artistic research interests explore the relationship between thinking, making and doing through a post-humanist and feminist new materialist frame.

    “In this unique edited volume, readers will find a hydrofeminist cornucopia of oceanic contemplations, and reflections on highly creative eco- and art-activist practices, and Indigenous-centred methodologies. Using South Africa as a lens to Global South epistemologies, contributors ask: How to rethink haunting colonial histories, as well as resist post-apartheid inequalities, and extractive capitalism’s violent exploitations of environments and local communities through hydrofeminist approaches? This book is a ‘must’ for everyone wanting to engage with the question: What does it mean for environmental and social justice-to-come to shift for a thinking- and sensing- with oceans, sea critters, and ancestral knowledges of watery interconnections?”

    Nina Lykke, Professor Emerita, Gender Studies, Linköping University Sweden, and Aarhus University, Denmark

    “Take your thoughts on a wild swim and a free dive with this finger-on-the-pulse collection. Drawing together an impressive range of contemporary hydro- related theories, the volume refracts these from a global south and feminist perspective, re-exploring South Africa’s haunted histories via its coasts, shorelines and beaches. Exploring a range of media forms, this collection will be welcomed by anyone with an interest in oceans, climate change and social justice.”

    Isabel Hofmeyr, Professor Emeritus, University of the Witwatersrand

     "As the seas rise, watery thinking is coming into view. This experimental collection of essays and provocations brings together many ways of thinking and being with oceanic environments. Through distinctive contributions enabled by South Africa’s historical, political, and physical conditions, these authors advance innovative practices, eco-theories, and visions for social and environmental justice." 

    Steve Mentz, St. John’s University, USA; Author of An Introduction to the Blue Humanities (Routledge, 2023)

    "This exciting multi-disciplinary text is at the forefront of new thinking on blue environmental justice. Immersed in the under-explored bathymetric setting of South Africa, the book draws from a depth of activist voices, perspectives and knowledges that caution us on how important past, present and future blue care is for all communities that live by, on, in and under the water."

    Ronan Foley, Associate Professor, University of Maynooth, Ireland

    "This rich, transdisciplinary, and beautifully composed edited collection offers readers spaces for critical and ethical scholarship, promoting hopefulness for a justice to come. Hydrofeminist thinking is creatively shaped by storytelling inspired by art, literature, and activism, such as memories, poetry, photography, theatre, and swimming, writing, walking, and conversation. The multiplicity of local stories of Ocean/s and beaches in the South African geopolitical context in this book inspired me to slow and diffractive reading to read and read again, see, and see again, listen, and listen again, from different and entangled stories, wordings, and images. There is much to learn for international readers from this edited collection about how we become locally situated watery selves and the political and scholarly possibilities of hydrofeminist thinking for pedagogical creativity and environmental justice."

    Mona B. Livholts, Professor of Social Work, University of Helsinki, Finland; Author of The Body Politics of Glocal Social Work: Essays on the Post-Anthropocentric Condition (Routledge 2023)