This reading group will take a deep dive into attempts to think through oceanic modes of thought and, in doing so, de-territorialise all-too-grounded modes of thinking that pervade much thinking in the humanities. Such thinking is relatively nascent (although there are exceptions to this), and it will be the broad aim of this reading group to think through what it might mean to return to shore, feet dizzy from time at sea, and rethink landed forms of thought from the other side of their horizons.

As a specific theme for this year, the focus will continually be on the notion of “Elsewise”. This theme will speak to the elsewise of the oceanic in contrast to the terrestrial and will, throughout the year, return on itself and continually ask questions of whether movements within burgeoning oceanic humanities are reproducing multiple forms of injustice found elsewhere in the academy. It is for that reason why four out of the six sessions proposed attempt to think “elsewise”.

The temporal structure of this proposed reading group is built around Princeton’s academic calendar. In each of the six months of this calendar the reading group will meet twice. The first of those sessions in each month will be a reading group session, focused on a maximum of three readings of limited length to not dissuade participation by assigning too much, while simultaneously opening multiple avenues for interdisciplinary thought. As such, appropriate sections from texts will be chosen for discussion. The second of these sessions will either be a discussion with a brought-in speaker, or a film screening. The purpose of this second session is to push the prior discussion further and begin to lead into the discussion in the following month.