“Modeling the Pacific: Oceanic Research in Science, Technology, and the Humanities”

This interdisciplinary conference Modeling the Pacific (Fall 2019) will pursue two main objectives: 1. To discuss the history and function of measuring and modeling techniques for the scientific study of oceans, in general, and of the Pacific Ocean, in particular, and to make the results of this discussion accessible to a broader public. 2. To connect the scientific mode of dealing with oceans and marine life with approaches from history, media, and literary studies. We address the Pacific Ocean as a scientific object studied with empirical, mathematical, and computational methods and as a geographic space of cultural and literary knowledge described in qualitative, cultural, and environmental terms.

Methodologically, disciplinarily, and institutionally, the Modeling the Pacific conference is grounded in the fields of environmental media and media ecology, media history and archeology, and it will help to strengthen those fields within UCSB and as part of an international network. This conference is a cooperation between UCSB’s Department of Germanic and Slavic Studies and the Institute for Advanced Studies for Media Cultures of Computer Simulations (MECS) at Leuphana University Lüneburg in Germany. It is the first event of a two-part conference, focusing on oceanic research in the sciences and the humanities. The second part will take place in 2020 under German leadership in Lüneburg, with a focus on the Atlantic Ocean.

Funded by a Fall 2018 Carsey-Wolf Center Faculty Research Support Grant.