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A Book of Waves (Lewis Henry Morgan Lectures)

A Book of Waves (Lewis Henry Morgan Lectures)

Current price: $31.95
Publication Date: August 4th, 2023
Duke University Press
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In A Book of Waves Stefan Helmreich examines ocean waves as forms of media that carry ecological, geopolitical, and climatological news about our planet. Drawing on ethnographic work with oceanographers and coastal engineers in the Netherlands, the United States, Australia, Japan, and Bangladesh, Helmreich details how scientists at sea and in the lab apprehend waves' materiality through abstractions, seeking to capture in technical language these avatars of nature at once periodic and irreversible, wild and pacific, ephemeral and eternal. For researchers and their publics, the meanings of waves also reflect visions of the ocean as an environmental infrastructure fundamental to trade, travel, warfare, humanitarian rescue, recreation, and managing sea level rise. Interleaving ethnographic chapters with reflections on waves in mythology, surf culture, feminist theory, film, Indigenous Pacific activisms, Black Atlantic history, cosmology, and more, Helmreich demonstrates how waves mark out the wakes and breaks of social histories and futures.

About the Author

Stefan Helmreich is Professor of Anthropology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and author of Sounding the Limits of Life: Essays in the Anthropology of Biology and Beyond, Alien Ocean: Anthropological Voyages in Microbial Seas, and Silicon Second Nature: Culturing Artificial Life in a Digital World.