Ayesha Hameed Seminar – The Ocean as Archive

The Ocean as Archive explores several interdisciplinary approaches to reading the water. It starts by examining discourses on the ‘watery anthropocene’. Spurred by this crisis it considers other ways of reading the water: materially through oceanographic studies of watery depths and strata, and marine life therein; and temporally by considering the ocean as a speculative site, and as a space of residues. This module also explores alternate ways of reading this crisis: through non-western (Pacific Island) maritime epistemologies and myths, through discourses on migration (both contemporary and historical), through the mobilisation of the image of water in critical theory, in literature, in music and in art.

The class examines the site of the ocean not with the aim to systematically plumb its depths so to speak, but rather sees the ocean as a laboratory with which to examine multiple and often contradictory approaches when taking to the sea.  The Ocean as Archive considers methods with which we can begin to understand what is at stake in articulating the visual cultures of the sea. These methods are practice-led, and are aimed at students interested in exploring experimental methods in their critical work.