On Monday, September 14th at 16:00 CET , Melody Jue, Associate Professor of English, University of California Santa Barbara (USA) presented her book Wild Blue Media: Thinking Through Seawater (Duke University Press, 2020) in our Greenhouse online environmental humanities book talk series.
In Wild Blue Media, Jue destabilizes terrestrial-based ways of knowing and reorients our perception of the world by considering the ocean itself as a media environment—a place where the weight and opacity of seawater transforms how information is created, stored, transmitted, and perceived. By recentering media theory on and under the sea, Jue calls attention to the differences between perceptual environments and how we think within and through them as embodied observers. In doing so, she provides media studies with alternatives to familiar theoretical frameworks, thereby challenging scholars to navigate unfamiliar oceanic conditions of orientation, materiality, and saturation. Jue not only examines media about the ocean—science fiction narratives, documentary films, ocean data visualizations, animal communication methods, and underwater art—but reexamines media through the ocean, submerging media theory underwater to estrange it from terrestrial habits of perception while reframing our understanding of mediation, objectivity, and metaphor.