Research Seminar: "Message in a Bottle: Waste, Imperialism, and the Sea before Plastic"

  • Date: –17:00
  • Location: Engelska parken Room 16-1044
  • Lecturer: Matt Kerr (University of Southampton, UK)
  • Organiser: Department of English, Uppsala University
  • Contact person: Emma Clery
  • Seminarium

This paper presents new research concerning sea trash in nineteenth-century literature and culture.

Long before the first Bakelite was cast, the sea functioned as a convenient dumping ground while establishing the global modern waste practices that accompanied the rise of mass consumerism, imperialism, and industrial capitalism. Exploring how maritime imperialism produced and disseminated sea waste, the paper also asks how coastal communities, especially those in British colonies, imagined, resisted, and used marine trash.