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New Environmental and Cross-Cultural Histories of Pacific Whaling

International Symposium

29.06.2018 – 30.06.2018

Location: University of Hawai’i – Mānoa

Conveners: Ryan Tucker Jones (University of Oregon), Angela Wanhalla (University of Otago)


An International Symposium co-sponsored by the Rachel Carson Center, the University of Oregon and the Centre for Research on Colonial Culture, University of Otago, New Zealand


Emerging historical scholarship is upending older work on whaling and showcasing it as an ideal medium with which to investigate human relationships with the oceans and with each other. Whales offer investigative bridgeheads into the cultural histories of non-human species, the hidden histories of energy economies, and the complicated histories of cross-cultural contact. Whale histories are demonstrating to environmental historians the various scales, including oceanic scales, with which they can work and are challenging them to consider new forms of evidence and new tools of interpretation. This international symposium aims to bring together the excellent, scholarship integrating the history of Pacific whaling with environmental and cross-cultural history. We seek participants from around the world to convene next year at Honolulu, the center of the Pacific whaling industry. We especially welcome scholarship that engages Pacific and environmental history and examines the crucial linkages between whaling, animal histories, indigenous histories, capitalism, diplomacy, environmental change, and globalization.


Participants will be expected to pre-circulate drafts of works in progress in advance of the symposium. Selected papers will be published as a special issue of Rachel Carson Center’s Perspectives. Travel and lodging costs will be covered by the seminar sponsors.

Please find the call for papers here.


For those interested, please email 250-word paper proposals along with a short cv to the symposium conveners by 1 September 2017.


Ryan Tucker Jones, University of Oregon rtj@uoregon.edu
Angela Wanhalla, University of Otago angela.wanhalla@otago.ac.nz