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  • Michael Bravo is University Senior Lecturer in Geography at Cambridge University, where he also convenes the Circumpolar History group at the Scott Polar Research Institute. He has published and spoken extensively on governance, geography and the history of science as they relate to the circumpolar Arctic, from Enlightenment through twenty-first century contexts, and is an internationally known authority on humanistic approaches to polar studies.
  • Margaret Cohen (Professor of Comparative Literature, Stanford) will present a talk drawn from her new book, The Novel and the Sea (Princeton University Press, forthcoming 2010) concerning how the history and representation of global ocean travel informed the development of the novel. Her previous books include the  award-winning Sentimental Education of the Novel (1999) and the edited  collection, The Literary Channel: The Inter-National Invention of the Novel, which mapped the long eighteenth-century “rise of the novel” in Europe onto the waterway dividing the British Isles and the continent.
  • Christopher Connery (Professor of Literature, UC Santa Cruz) has  published widely-cited interdisciplinary essays on oceanic thought  in such journals as boundary2 and Journal of Historical Geography.  His talk will examine the relationship between geopolitics and the theatricalization of maritime power, and is drawn from his book in  progress, titled The Oceanic Feeling: Aqueous Ideologies and the Geo-imaginary of Capitalism. The Oceanic Feeling examines the capitalist west's figuration of its relationship to the ocean and to ocean going, with reference to varying figurations of the ocean in China, Oceania, Japan, and elsewhere.
  • Adriana Craciun (Professor of English, UC Riverside) is a founding organizer of the international series of events of which The Oceanic Turn is a part: “The Disorder of Things: Predisciplinarity and the Divisions of Knowledge, 1660-1850.” Her current book project, Northwest Passages: Authorship, Exploration, Disaster, presents a genealogy of multidisciplinary texts and inscriptions (print, manuscript, and graffiti, suppressed and published, authentic and spurious) and their role in shaping three centuries of Arctic exploration. Her previous two books focused on British women’s literature in relationship to the history of the body and to French revolutionary politics. Essays drawn from her Arctic research are forthcoming in Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies, PMLA, and Nineteenth-Century Literature.
  • Jonathan King, Keeper of the Collections at the British Museum, is an internationally recognized authority on indigenous art and material culture from the Arctic. Responsible for the entirety of the British Museum’s collections of objects from the Americas and Oceania, King will contribute a historical and practitioner perspective on Enlightenment-era collecting and its relationship to art from the Arctic.
  • Neil Safier is Assistant Professor of History at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, and is author of Measuring the New World: Enlightenment Science and South America (Chicago, 2008), which won the 2009 Gilbert Chinard Prize from the Society for French Historical Studies. He received his Ph.D. from the Johns Hopkins University in 2004 and has since then held postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Michigan and the University of Pennsylvania. Recently, he became an editor of Atlantic Studies, an interdisciplinary journal of Atlantic history, literature, and culture, and in the spring of 2010 will be a visiting researcher at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin.
  • Patricia Seed is Professor of History at UC Irvine, currently working on the history of cartography (in part through a UCHRI/NEH/ACLS funded project titled "The Development of Mapping: Portuguese Cartography and Coastal Africa” (www.pmoca.net)). She is the author of American Pentimento: The Pursuit of Riches and the Invention of “Indians” (2001) (winner of the Prize in Atlantic History) and Ceremonies of Possession in Europe's Conquest of the New World (1995).