Having trouble reading this email? View it in your browser.

Wesleyan University | Center for the Humanities


Oceanic Feelings in the Anthropocene: Ellen Gallagher's Rising (Black) Atlantic

Oceanic Feelings in the Anthropocene: Ellen Gallagher's Rising (Black) Atlantic

Heather Vermeulen • Andrew W. Mellon Fellow, Wesleyan

OCTOBER 15 @ 6 P.M. | Daniel Family Commons, Usdan University Center

This talk focuses on artist Ellen Gallagher's series Watery Ecstatic (2001-present) as it intervenes in scientific narratives surrounding the Anthropocene. I propose that the series constitutes a multi-special, multi-animate inflection of W. E. B. Du Bois's “double-consciousness” and Paul Gilroy's “Black Atlantic,” while offering a rejoinder to Sigmund Freud's dismissal of “oceanic feeling.” Combining her interests in both marine biology and transatlantic slavery's oceanic diaspora of the dead, Gallagher creates work that makes space for reconsidering and re-historicizing contemporary ecological crises. Her evocation of consciousnesses conjures up the unrepresentable, indeed, the unimaginable: the coming-together of the human-made-“post”-terrestrial with the nonhuman inhabitants of sub-aquatic realms. Attention to this aquatic diaspora queers notions of kinship, unsettles what “counts” as evidence of the Anthropocene, and inspires a multispecial ethics of care for the planet's rising, warming, and acidifying waters.

Center for the Humanities on Facebook  Center for the Humanities on Twitter

Center for the Humanities · 95 Pearl Street , Middletown, CT 06459