(Re)imagining Shared Pasts Over the Sea and Across Borders

(Re)imagining Shared Pasts Over the Sea and Across Borders

Dialogue, reception and projections between the USA, the Americas and Europe with a special focus on the imagery associated with the Ocean(s)

Overall description
This Project, launched by the American Studies Research Group in 2019, aims to study the maritime relations between the USA, the Americas, and Europe, in all their dimensions, focusing especially on Portugal-US exchanges (literary and cultural foremost, but also sociological, diasporic, economic and environmental) over the sea. The “shared” Atlantic Ocean is therefore our main source and special attention will be paid to its constructed imagery, with an eye for intervention on Environmental Humanities.

Research goals:
• To continue the work of RG3 showcasing the cultural exchanges and dynamics of literary reception between Portugal and the USA, now re-centered on the thematics of the ocean, privileging a disciplinary contribution to Ecocriticism and Ecopoetics.
• To contribute a literary and inter-arts historical perspective to the study of the Anthropocene.

Research questions:
• How far-reaching is the imagery associated with the notion “over-seas,” culturally and historically, considering the axis (North)America-Europe, and Portugal’s pivotal place within it?
• What can we learn from the history of the relation between Europe and America(s), concerning the Atlantic Ocean? When and how is it taken as delimitation of borders to be preserved and/or explored?
• What about the representations of the sea as wilderness, or the intimations of “oceanic feeling,” and how can these be used in the context of the Environmental Humanities?

Theoretical background: brief literature survey, main relevant sources, concepts and definitions:
• Environmental Humanities ( Glotfelty, 1997; Rose, D. B., T. van Dooren, M. et al. .2012; Nye, D. E., L. Rugg, J. Fleming, Emmett, R. 2013).
• Transatlantic Studies (MacPherson and Kaufman 2002; Manning and Taylor 2007; Straub 2016).
• Oceanic feeling (Roland and Freud 1927), Oceanic Studies (Blum 2013) and Blue Ecocriticism (Metz 2009 and Brayton 2011).
• Postcolonialism, diaspora studies, and planetary thinking (Gilroy 1993; Chakrabarty 2009).

International Conference Over_Seas: Melville, Whitman, and All the Intrepid Sailors, 3-5 July 2019, Lisbon - www.overseas2019.com.
Edited special volume American Studies Over_Seas to be proposed to a reputed publisher