Please join the American Studies Consortium and the Nineteenth-Century Forum for a lecture by Hester Blum!
What happens to messages left in bottles? Or in cairns, or in copper cylinders, or with passing ships? Hester Blum's paper "Polar Ecomedia" discusses the history of Anglo-American polar exploration -- as well as the literature produced by expedition members -- by considering how letters and other forms of knowledge circulate in the ecological spaces of the polar regions. What forms of writing and recording practices are sustainable in the Arctic or Antarctica? We might say that polar expeditions functioned as a mechanism for generating narratives, but in the anthropocene, writing on ice may be scarcely more legible than writing on water.
Thursday, November 12
3154 Angell | 4:00pm
Hester Blum is Associate Professor of English at Penn State University and co-founder of C19: The Society of Nineteenth-Century Americanists. She is the author of The View from the Masthead: Maritime Imagination andAntebellum American Sea Narratives (2008), which received the John Gardner Maritime Research Award. Her edited volumes include Horrors of Slavery (2008), William Ray's 1808 Barbary captivity narrative, and the forthcoming essay collection Turns of Event: American Literary Studies in Motion (2016). She is completing a book entitled The News at the Ends of the Earth: Oceanic Studies and the Ecomedia of Polar Exploration.