The sea has been the site of radical changes in human lives and national histories. It has been an agent of colonial oppression but also of indigenous resistance, a site of loss, dispersal and enforced migration but also of new forms of solidarity and affective kinship. Sea Changes re-evaluates the view that history happens mainly on dry land and makes the case for a creative reinterpretation of the role of the sea: not merely as a passage from one country to the next, but a historical site deserving close study.
Bernhard Klein is Lecturer in Literature at the University of Essex. He is the author and editor of a number of books, including Fictions of the Sea: Critical Perspectives on the Ocean in British Literature and Culture. Gesa Mackenthun is Professor in American Studies at Rostock University in Germany. In addition to numerous essays on the topics of nineteenth-century American literature, colonialism, and postcolonial studies, she is the author of Metaphors of Dispossession: American Beginnings and the Translation of Empire, 1492-1637.
"This terrific collection makes major contributions to several dynamic fields of historical inquiry, as it decisively demonstrates the centrality-not marginality-of an oceanic perspective to our understanding of the past. The volume is exciting both for what it achieves and the possibilities it suggests
." -- Lisa Norling, University of Minnesota
"Sea Changes: Historicizing the Ocean builds upon recent theoretical developments in Maritime Studies, Cultural Anthropology, Postcolonial Studies, and Cultural Studies to place our understanding of the sea in a deeply historicized, complex, nuanced, and dynamic context. It joins important works like Paul Gilroy's The Black Atlantic and Marcus Rediker and Peter Linebaugh's The Many-Headed Hydra in extending and radically reshaping our understanding of a significant arena of contemporary scholarship
." -- Jim Miller, George Washington University