DSM International Lecture Series on Ocean Humanities

Blog |

More is known about the dark side of the moon than is known about the depths of the oceans. 90 per cent of global trade is moved by ships. Submarine cables form the backbones of the information society. Ocean warming and acidification profoundly affect the global climate. Rising sea levels threaten coastal megalopolises. Blue Economies frame the seabed as natural resource. And yet, these and further ties between our everyday lifeworld and the oceans still remain largely unarticulated and detached from public consciousness.

The interdisciplinary field of Ocean Humanities (or Blue Humanities) aims at a sea change by critically reflecting our current relations to the seas, and by exploring alternative epistemologies and ‘world-views’: In which respect are we as humans historically, philosophically, or literarily determined as aquatic or nautic beings? How can we generate knowledge about the ‘vast expanses’ of the oceans? And what happens if we perceive our world from an oceanic perspective?

With its International Lecture Series on Ocean Humanities, the German Maritime Museum endeavors to create a lasting format that systematically brings together scholars and research topics from a variety of academic disciplines. It also attempts to further reinforcing the field by initiating a vivid exchange with partner institutions from engineering and natural sciences. And not least, it aims at making Ocean Humanities more popular in the German academic landscape and public.

The series is open for presentations in English and German. The Lectures are open to the public and can be accessed on site at the DSM Research Depot and via Zoom.


Preliminary Program for the Winter Semester 2023/24:


September 12, 2023, 01:00 - 02:30 p.m. s.t. CET
Binnenmeere und humanitäre Raumordnung: Zur Geschichte der Seenotrettung
Henning Trüper
Leibniz-Zentrum für Literatur- und Kulturforschung Berlin


October 10,2023, 01:00 - 02:30 p.m. s.t. CET
Ships of Opportunity – Beiträge von Nicht-Forschungsschiffen zur Meeresbeobachtung
Eberhard Sauter
University of Applied Sciences Bremerhaven, and Alfred-Wegener-Institut / Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung, Bremerhaven


November 14, 2023, 01:00 - 02:30 p.m. s.t. CET
Entwurf einer Nautologie des Menschen (anstelle einer Anthropologie der Seefahrt)
Bernhard Siegert
Bauhaus-Universität Weimar


December 12, 2023, 01:00 - 02:30 p.m. s.t. CET
The Ocean as Simulacra: The Place of Aquariums in Staging Ocean Crises
Kimberley Peters and Rachael Squire
Helmholtz Institute for Functional Marine Biodiversity (HIFMB), University of Oldenburg
Royal Holloway, University of London


January 16, 2024, 01:00 - 02:30 p.m. s.t. CET
Ships, Science, and the Sea: Research Vessels and the Development of Ocean Science
Penelope Hardy (via Zoom)
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse


February 13, 2024, 01:00 - 02:30 p.m. s.t. CET
Multispecies oceanic history of ‘warming of the Arctic’ in the 1920s- 1930s
Julia Lajus
Columbia University


March 12, 2024, 01:00 - 02:30 p.m. s.t. CET
Do Waves have Rights?
Andrea Muehlebach
University of Bremen


DSM Research Depot, Study Zone
Eichstraße 13, 27572 Bremerhaven

Zoom Link for Remote Participation:

Meeting-ID: 836 6586 3280
Kenncode: 055375

Program as PDF file

Katrin Kleemann


Sebastian Vehlken
E-Mail: vehlken@dsm.museum

.svgNavPlus { fill: #002c50; } .svgFacebook { fill: #002c50; } .svgYoutube { fill: #002c50; } .svgInstagram { fill: #002c50; } .svgLeibnizLogo { fill: #002c50; } .svgWatch { fill: #002c50; } .svgPin { fill: #002c50; } .svgLetter { fill: #002c50; } Universität Bremen