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Professor Christopher L. Pastore

The Trinity Long Room Hub is delighted to welcome Professor Christopher L. Pastore from the University at Albany, State University of New York, as a Marie Skłodowska-Curie COFUND Fellow for 2018-19. His fellowship is in association with Trinity’s Manuscript, Book and Print Cultures theme.

Christopher is a social and cultural historian of early America and the Atlantic world whose research focuses on the human relationship to nature, and to water in particular. An Associate Professor of History at the University at Albany, State University of New York, he holds a Ph.D. in American History from the University of New Hampshire and is the author of Between Land and Sea: The Atlantic Coast and the Transformation of New England (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2014).

During his Marie Skłodowska-Curie COFUND fellowship, Christopher’s project will focus on examining the science of the sea, and specifically how knowledge of marine animals, plants, and the environment was constructed and disseminated, both around the early modern Atlantic periphery and among the metropolitan centres of Europe. In its careful consideration of scientific epistolary networks, marine societies, and the business of book publishing, his project will reveal that systematic investigation into the ocean’s inner workings was mutually constitutive with more poetic depictions of maritime space. In turn, by the nineteenth century the swirling currents of science and art, of sensory experience and the human imagination, converged to create notions of ocean environments that were distinct from their terrestrial counterparts. If, as others have shown, the early modern proliferation of print culture underpinned such epochal transformations as the Protestant Reformation and the rise of the nation-state, this work aims to show that books also helped usher in a new age of ocean literacy, and by extension, global ecology.

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