I am Dr Isaac Land, Professor of History at Indiana State University. I introduced the term “coastal history” in a review essay that was published in the Journal of Social History in 2007. Since then, we have held the first coastal history conference (“Firths and Fjords” at the University of the Highlands and Islands, in Spring 2016) and there are plans afoot for an interdisciplinary Coastal Studies journal. A volume edited by David Worthington, The New Coastal History, will appear in October 2017.
What’s coastal history about? You might take a look at one of my recent posts, Conference (and Roundtable!) Roundup for an overview and some definitions… and quibbles about definitions. For a shorter statement, you can read my guest blog over at Firths and Fjords: Coastal History: Who, What, and Why?
There seems to be a convergence of energy and talent around these issues. Notice the number of scholars in diverse fields who have suggested new vocabulary in recent years: there’s Christer Westerdahl’s “maritime cultural landscape,” the Norse term “kystkultur,” David Jarratt’s “seasideness,” Gerard Le Bouedec’s “paramaritime,” and Michael Pearson’s “littoral society.” Even more recently, Alison Bashford called for a new subfield of “terraqueous history.” In my chapter in The New Coastal History volume, I suggested that
“We are in the middle of the biggest reappraisal of how historians should approach watery topics since the days of Fernand Braudel.”
Stay tuned to this blog to watch it unfold.
Follow the link to view the posts: The Coastal History Blog archive or scroll down for the fully linked articles in publication order.
Want kindred spirits to know about your coastal history work? Make sure to use the term, and cite other people who use it! Also, take advantage of the hashtags #coastalhistory or #coastalstudies that are growing in popularity on Twitter.
We welcome your comments! We also welcome proposals for guest posts, including by dissertation writers and Early Career Researchers. Please familiarize yourself with the blog before proposing a guest post. Guest posts that address conceptual issues or offer a synthesis of recent scholarship are especially welcome. If you are interested in writing a guest blog, please contact Isaac directly at Isaac.Land@indstate.edu .
Blog 4: Are Islands Insular?
Blog 5: What Are Beaches For?
Blog 6: The Political Economy of Sand
Blog 7: The Tolerant Coast
Blog 8: Rivers of the Anthropocene
Blog 9: Coasts of the Anthropocene
Blog 10: Crossing the Bay of Bengal
Blog 11: Women in Port
Blog 12: Women as Tavern Keepers
Blog 14: On Serendipity in Research
Blog 16: The Pious Coast
Blog 17: Iain McCalman’s Great Barrier Reef
Blog 18: Offshore and Offshoring
Blog 19: The Versatile Coast
Blog 23: Sailors on Bicycles
Blog 24: Port Geography at the Crossroads
Blog 25: The Encroaching Coast
Blog 26: Dibdin conference report
Blog 27: The Sailor’s Yarn
Blog 30: Maritime Heritage and Social Justice
Blog 33: The Intolerant Coast
Blog 37: A Cosmopolitan Bronze Age Port?
Blog 42: Conference (and roundtable!) roundup
Blog 44: Preserving South Street Seaport