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Imagining the Anthropocene with the Wadden Sea

26 October 2021

Authors: Katie Ritson & Eveline R. de Smalen (guest researcher at IREES)

Journal: Maritime Studies volume 20, pages 293–303 (2021)


This contribution explores the potential of the Wadden Sea for the imagination of the Anthropocene. The concept of the Anthropocene represents a challenge to the cultural imagination, as it draws together deep, geological time, recent and current events, and long futures; the geographical and generational implications of justice; and the profound entanglement of human progress with ecological decline. We argue that the cultural landscape of the Wadden Sea is a space in which these paradoxes and connections are made visible and material. Literary and artistic works engaged with the Wadden Sea display a critical awareness of Anthropocene entanglements: in our analysis, we explore visual and textual representations of the Wadden Sea and show how it serves as a site for the imagination of the past and future of our planet.

Last modified:08 November 2021 4.19 p.m.

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