Dartmouth Events

When Seascapes Collide: Maritime Fiction after the Age of Adventure

Burkhardt Wolf, Professor of German and Media Studies, University of Vienna

Tuesday, May 4, 2021
1:00pm – 2:30pm
Virtual Zoom
Intended Audience(s): Public
Categories: Clubs & Organizations, Conferences, Lectures & Seminars

As an endless space of adventurous experience, the sea has always been a source of artistic inspiration. However, in modernity and, a fortiori, in present times, maritime issues have substantially changed. Merely for boat people (and, maybe, for some small-time smugglers), the sea is still a besetting “foe to man,” to quote Melville’s Moby-Dick. Instead of evoking sublimity, the sea now, to a large extent, is a space of opacity, a covert setting where global flows of people, capital and goods intersect, where military, political and economic interests are at stake. Only for the unhappy few, seafaring is still centered around “experience” in the old sense: the dangerous challenges of steering and haven-finding, of technical and social organization.

Traditional and »out-of-time« sea narratives, of course, never thoroughly disappeared, since, in the field of maritime fiction, there is a niche market for everything–especially for the nostalgic. This lecture will examine exemplarily some of the possibilities, conventions and limits of up-to-date maritime fiction.


Free and open to the public.
Organizer and Contact: Yi Wu (yi.wu@dartmouth.edu)

Sponsored by the Society of Fellows and Comparative Literature Program





For more information, contact:
Carol Bean-Carmody

Events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.