Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Sounding the Limits of LifeEssays in the Anthropology of Biology and Beyond$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Stefan Helmreich

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780691164809

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691164809.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2017. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in HSO for personal use (for details see http://www.universitypressscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 26 April 2018

Nature/Culture/Seawater

Nature/Culture/Seawater

Theory Machines, Anthropology, Oceanization

Chapter:
(p.94) Chapter 8 Nature/Culture/Seawater
Source:
Sounding the Limits of Life
Author(s):

Stefan Helmreich

Sophia Roosth

Michele Friedner

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691164809.003.0008

This chapter examines how the nature/culture binary imposes particular qualities on water, which water is then sometimes imagined to overflow. In asking after water this way, the chapter retools the historian of science Peter Galison's notion of a “theory machine,” an object in the world that stimulates a theoretical formulation. According to Galison, networks of electrocoordinated clocks in European railway stations at the turn of the twentieth-century aided Albert Einstein's thinking about simultaneity. The chapter considers how water has operated as a theory machine in anthropology, how it has been framed by nature/culture, and how it has in turn reframed nature/culture. It also discusses seawater imagery and metaphors in early ethnography, in maritime anthropology, and in recent social theory. It argues that seawater has moved from an implicit to an explicit figure for anthropological and social theorizing, especially in the age of globalization, which it also terms “oceanization.”

Keywords:   nature, culture, water, Peter Galison, theory machine, anthropology, seawater, social theory, globalization, oceanization

Princeton Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.