Offshoring Anthropology

The group wants to explore the ways in which the ocean figures in social lives and processes around the world.

Container ship at sea

Photo: NOAA [Public domain], via Wikimedia Common

More than seventy percent of the world’s surface is ocean. And yet we are remarkably sea blind. Ninety percent of the world’s goods come to us over the sea. The coffee we drink, the clothes we wear, the food we eat. Even the phone or computer you’re using: Chances are, they came to us from across the sea. But few of us are aware of this.

Our group wants to explore the ways in which the ocean figures in social lives and processes around the world.

For instance, we would like to investigate how the ocean shapes global capitalism, how the changing oceanic ecosystems are entangled with new consumption patterns and labour conditions, how the ocean figures as a site of both hope and despair in political movements, in the arts, and much more.

Furthermore, we will attempt to unmoor anthropology and ask how the ocean’s fluidity makes us attend to social worlds, regions and global processes differently.

The department of Social Anthropology, where many of our activities take place, can look back on a long tradition of maritime oriented research, which we actively build on in this group.

The Maritime Anthropology research group includes scholars from the Humanities and Social Sciences who are based at University of Oslo, Oslo Met, and the Norwegian Maritime Museum.

Published Jan. 6, 2020 2:01 PM - Last modified Mar. 3, 2020 10:23 AM