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Oceanic Histories

Part of Cambridge Oceanic Histories

Sujit Sivasundaram, Alison Bashford, David Armitage, Eric Tagliacozzo, Molly Greene, Jonathan Miran, Alexis Dudden, Michael North, Stella Ghervas, Sverker Sörlin, Alessandro Antonello
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  • Date Published: December 2017
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781108434829


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About the Authors
  • Oceanic Histories is the first comprehensive account of world history focused not on the land but viewed through the 70% of the Earth's surface covered by water. Leading historians trace the history of the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic Oceans and seas, from the Arctic and the Baltic to the South China Sea and the Sea of Japan/Korea's East Sea, over the longue durée. Individual chapters trace the histories and the historiographies of the various oceanic regions, with special attention given to the histories of circulation and particularity, the links between human and non-human history and the connections and comparisons between parts of the World Ocean. Showcasing oceanic history as a field with a long past and a vibrant future, these authoritative surveys, original arguments and guides to research make this volume an indispensable resource for students and scholars alike.

    • Creates a new vision of world history through its oceans
    • Presents cutting-edge historiography accessibly for scholars, teachers and students
    • Guides to further reading and resources facilitate teaching of oceanic history classes and encourages future research linking oceans and seas
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'This is the book oceanic scholars have been waiting for. Five oceans, six seas, eleven top scholars and a dozen magisterial essays that map the contemporary state of oceanic historiographies. With a rambunctious 'cast' of wind, wave, whale, ship and sailor, the volume probes the surface and depth of the ocean, the historical and the environmental, extending our sense of world history, both vertically and horizontally.' Isabel Hofmeyr, University of the Witwatersrand and New York University

    'Armitage, Bashford and Sivasundaram have produced a skillfully piloted volume navigating the history and historiography of the oceans of the world and the lands that abut them. A marvelous summation of the state of the field of oceanic histories that will be indispensable reading for scholars and students alike.' Sugata Bose, Harvard University, Massachusetts

    'A rich and deeply informative set of essays that is valuable at two levels. It shows how global historians can benefit from devoting more sustained attention to the histories of oceans. Simultaneously, the individual essays also illumine the differences in the past (and present) between different large stretches of water and the lands involved with them.' Linda Colley, Princeton University, New Jersey

    'Altogether, this collection certainly achieves to survey and critically evaluate the impressive range of oceanic historiography-its diverse history, approaches, and critical vocabulary, and its promise for a less anthropocentric practice of history as a much needed corrective that helps the field of history to contribute to a heightened consciousness regarding the consequences of both human and nonhuman, oceanic agencies for the history of our planet.' Alexandra Ganser, American Historical Review

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    Product details

    • Date Published: December 2017
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781108434829
    • length: 338 pages
    • dimensions: 227 x 152 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.56kg
    • contains: 11 maps
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of maps
    Notes on contributors
    Introduction: writing world oceanic histories Sujit Sivasundaram, Alison Bashford and David Armitage
    Part I. Oceans:
    1. The Indian Ocean Sujit Sivasundaram
    2. The Pacific Ocean Alison Bashford
    3. The Atlantic Ocean David Armitage
    Part II. Seas:
    4. The South China Sea Eric Tagliacozzo
    5. The Mediterranean Sea Molly Greene
    6. The Red Sea Jonathan Miran
    7. The Sea of Japan/Korea's East Sea Alexis Dudden
    8. The Baltic Sea Michael North
    9. The Black Sea Stella Ghervas
    Part III. Poles:
    10. The Arctic Ocean Sverker Sörlin
    11. The Southern Ocean Alessandro Antonello
    Further reading

  • Editors

    David Armitage, Harvard University, Massachusetts
    David Armitage is the Lloyd C. Blankfein Professor of History at Harvard University, an Honorary Professor of History at the University of Sydney and an Honorary Fellow of St Catharine's College, Cambridge. He is the author or editor of sixteen books, among them Civil Wars: A History in Ideas (2017), The History Manifesto (co-author, 2014), Pacific Histories: Ocean, Land, People (co-editor, 2014), Foundations of Modern International Thought (Cambridge, 2013), The British Atlantic World, 1500–1800 (2nd edition, co-editor, 2009), The Declaration of Independence: A Global History (2007) and The Ideological Origins of the British Empire (Cambridge, 2000).

    Alison Bashford, University of New South Wales, Sydney
    Alison Bashford is Professor of History at the University of New South Wales, fellow of Jesus College and currently Trustee of Royal Museums Greenwich. Author and editor of many books on world history, environmental history and the history of science, her most recent are The New Worlds of Thomas Robert Malthus (2016) with Joyce E. Chaplin and Quarantine: Local and Global Histories (2016, editor).

    Sujit Sivasundaram, University of Cambridge
    Sujit Sivasundaram is Reader in World History at the University of Cambridge and researches both the Pacific and Indian Oceans, especially in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. He is the author of Islanded: Britain, Sri Lanka and the bounds of an Indian Ocean colony (2013) and Nature and the godly empire: Science and evangelical mission in the Pacific, 1795–1850 (Cambridge, 2005). In 2012, he won a Philip Leverhulme Prize for History, awarded for outstanding contributions to research by early-career scholars in the UK. He is co-editor of The Historical Journal and Fellow and Councillor of the Royal Historical Society.


    Sujit Sivasundaram, Alison Bashford, David Armitage, Eric Tagliacozzo, Molly Greene, Jonathan Miran, Alexis Dudden, Michael North, Stella Ghervas, Sverker Sörlin, Alessandro Antonello

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