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Diving with Donna Haraway and the promise of a blue planet


Picken, F and Ferguson, T, Diving with Donna Haraway and the promise of a blue planet, Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 32, (2) pp. 329-341. ISSN 0263-7758 (2014) [Refereed Article]

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DOI: doi:10.1068/d13016p


It has been two decades since Haraway spoke about the ‘promise of monsters’, and seventy years since a novel kind of sea monster was created through the Aqua-Lung, giving ‘underwater worlds’ better access to humans. By revisiting and examining the combinatory effects of these historical moments, this paper illustrates the ‘promise of scuba divers’ who are somewhat monstrous in their potential to disturb common ideas about being human and life on land. In exchanging ‘sacred ground’ for submersion beneath the sea, scuba diving redefines the limits of human experience and emphasises the historical and largely forgotten primacy of land-based coordinates in theorising human life. Under the sea, these coordinates are vastly altered so that even preconscious markers, like breathing, are transformed through a circuitry that includes humans, science, technology, and nature in a ‘body-incorporate’. ‘Immersion’ becomes a threshold beyond which humans and nature, society and space are discovered anew in the reversal of the significance of territory to planetary life.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:ocean, technology, experience, space
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Anthropology
Research Field:Social and cultural anthropology
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in human society
UTAS Author:Picken, F (Dr Felicity Picken)
UTAS Author:Ferguson, T (Mr Tristan Ferguson)
ID Code:88059
Year Published:2014
Web of Science® Times Cited:7
Deposited By:School of Social Sciences
Deposited On:2014-01-09
Last Modified:2015-04-29

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