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Figure 1: Anon., Neptune Supporting his Favorite Son Admiral Lord Nelson, 1806, Royal Museums Greenwich

The Naval History Blog: No. 2

Why Does Naval History Matter? As a student of history, I have often met with the question ‘but why does history matter?’ Naval history, a specialised and unique branch of academic study, is met with a stronger question about its relevance, even amongst historians, being dismissed as simply ships, scurvy and sea dogs. Naval history […]

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The Naval History Blog: No. 1

Why Does Naval History Matter? The first question to consider before approaching a response to why naval history matters is: why does any history matter? Before the professionalization of the field in the nineteenth century, the answer to this question seemed fairly obvious; historians “took it for granted that history furnished the basis for a […]

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The Coastal History Blog 39: ‘Beneath the Pavement—the Beach!’: An Account of the Urban Beaches Workshop at the University of London

I’m delighted to introduce the Coastal History blog’s fifth guest post (and the third guest post in the last twelve months!).  Elsa Devienne is a Fellow at the Princeton Mellon Initiative in Architecture, Urbanism, and the Humanities. She also holds a position as ‘maîtresse de conferences’ in the department of American studies at Université Paris […]

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 ​'Written by a Wave Series' Copyright Jo Atherton 2016
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The Coastal History Blog 38: Sea Blindness, or Ocean Optimism? (part 3 of 3): Epiphany among the Manta Rays

  In my last post, I discussed problems of scale.  How can we visualize (and discuss) ocean-sized problems from our modest vantage point?  Is the “oceanic selfie” a path to a higher level of consciousness, or an anthropocentric dead end? When that post went online, I was in Hawaii and had just finished a couple […]

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The Coastal History Blog 37: Sea Blindness, or Ocean Optimism? (Part 2 of 3): A Tale of Four Tweets

In my last post, I discussed why sea blindness is not the most useful way to characterize twenty-first century sensibilities.  Let’s face it, it just doesn’t make much sense at a time when beachgoers have to be warned, “Don’t take selfies with seals.”  Instead, I argued, we should think critically about sea visibility, which is […]

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