Free Event

Wild Sea: A History of the Southern Ocean

By Dr. Joy McCann

Saturday 25 August 2018
4.30PM – 5.30PM
Members' Dining Room 3
Museum of Australian Democracy

Wild Sea tells the remarkable story of the Southern Ocean, from its birth in deep geological time to the present day. Unlike the Pacific, Atlantic, Indian and Arctic Oceans with their long maritime histories of Western colonisation and trade, little is known about the history of this tempestuous ocean at the southernmost end of the Earth. Wind, ice and fog loom large in its heroic narratives of maritime discovery, whaling and Antarctic exploration, but few understand the distinctive nature of the Southern Ocean and its place in Western and Indigenous histories. Wild Sea combines stories about changing global perceptions of the ocean and its vulnerability to human actions with local stories that reveal how the Southern Ocean has defined and sustained places and people in the Southern Hemisphere. It explores different knowledge systems that have shaped our scientific and cultural understandings of the Southern Ocean, and considers some of the imperatives for developing a deeper knowledge of this remote and stormy oceanic realm. Ultimately, it seeks to raise greater public awareness and appreciation of the history and environment of this little-known ocean and its emerging importance as a barometer of planetary climate change.

Dr. Joy McCann is an environmental and cultural historian who is passionate about writing stories that weave together the human and natural histories of remote and little-known environments in the Southern Hemisphere. Joy has worked extensively as a public historian in the heritage and museums sector as well as writing on many aspects of Australian history. She is currently based at the ANU School of History’s Centre for Environmental History.