About this collection

Icaraí Beach, Caucaia, Brazil, 2016.

Coastal History is at home in the shallow waters (bays, coves, estuaries, firths, fjords, inlets), but it also speaks to interstitial watery realms (straits and portages; reticulated systems of lakes, rivers, or inland seas; archipelagoes or island clusters). With its focus on the local, the adjacent, and the domestic, it is grounded in the specificities of physical places, searching at the same time to relate these to the wider world. Coastal History is especially well-suited to investigating the range of subject matter that is sometimes overlooked as “not-quite-oceanic,” yet “not-quite-terrestrial.” Its ambition is to embrace the entire array of human or more-than-human elements imbricated in these hybrid spaces.

In recent years, historians have proposed a host of new conceptual frameworks in this area, from Michael Pearson’s “littoral societies,” Isaac Land’s “coastal history,” Alison Bashford’s “terraqueous history,” and John Gillis’ discussion of the ecotone in The Human Shore. But there is still a fresh open debate about what Coastal History might include. Anthropocene coasts, in particular, present interpretive challenges as heavily engineered environments where human and natural agencies exist in a state of dynamic tension. Whether or not coasts can ever be managed, or sea level rise mitigated, it is impossible to study shorelines today without confronting fundamental questions of value, meaning, responsibility, praxis, and social justice in a time of global crisis.

Information on how to contribute.

Curators

Isaac Land. Professor of History at Indiana State University, he originated the term coastal history in a 2007 review essay and has maintained The Coastal History Blog since 2013.

 

Joana Gaspar de Freitas. Coordinator of Project Sea, Sand, People. An Environmental History of Coastal Dunes, founded by a European Research Council Grant. Researcher of the Center of History, at the School of Arts and Humanities of the University of Lisbon.

 

 

Showing 1–15 of 21 results
From Nature to Infrastructure: Vallisaari Island in the Helsinki Archipelago
Bhowmik, Samir Arcadia, Summer 2020, no. 28
The Consequences of “Flying Sands” in the Cávado River Mouth (1700–1750)
Lopes, Ana Isabel Arcadia, Summer 2020, no. 27
The Polluted Past of the Whaling Town Hachinohe
Holm, Fynn Arcadia, Spring 2020, no. 16
The 1096 Eichō Earthquake and Tsunami
Buhrman, Kristina Arcadia, Spring 2020, no. 14
The Aura River Ice Jam in Turku, March 1903
Norrgård, Stefan Arcadia, Spring 2020, no. 10
The Hub’s Archipelago: The Connected Histories of Boston and Its Harbor Islands
Šimková, Pavla Arcadia, Spring 2020, no. 7
Seed Oysters in Entangled Worlds: Ecological Disturbances, Knowledge Making, and Potentialities in Miyagi, Japan
Yoshida, Mariko Arcadia, Autumn 2019, no. 47
Facing Changes, Changing Targets: Sperm-Whale Hunting in Late Eighteenth-Century Brazil
Vieira, Nina, Hayes, Patrick, Matthews, Al Arcadia, Autumn 2019, no. 44
How a Catastrophic Flood of the Gürbe River Triggered the Rethinking of Local Flood Protection
Salvisberg, Melanie Arcadia, Summer 2019, no. 27
Defending the Shoreline: From Cannon to Beach Nourishment in Gulf Islands National Seashore
Casey, Alanna Arcadia, Summer 2019, no. 19
Living on Coral Time: Debating Conservation in the Anthropocene
Braverman, Irus Arcadia, Spring 2019, no. 1
Beauties and Beasts: Whales in Portugal, from Early-Modern Monsters to Today’s Flagship Species
Brito, Cristina Arcadia, Autumn 2018, no. 21
Dike 14, Cleveland, Ohio: Containing Pollution in the Age of Ecology
Stradling, David Arcadia, Summer 2018, no. 15
The Lost Lakes of Bangalore
Nagendra, Harini, Unnikrishnan, Hita Arcadia, Spring 2018, no. 13
Creating Safety, Courting Disaster on the Lower Shinano River, Japan
Brown, Philip C. Arcadia, Autumn 2017, no. 26