Benthic Media: Underwater Technology and the Taming of the Seafloor

Port-side biological sampling bin open to receive a coral sample.
Fellow Project Academic Year

The production of globally sustainable futures today depends on the scientific research that is being done around the deep ocean, and on how regulators respond to pressures to extract from, transform and control the seabed. Taking into account these developments, Han’s project traces how the production of media technologies like seismology, autonomous gliders and cabled seafloor observatories have worked in the shadow of extractive industries like offshore drilling and deep sea mining. 

Rather than reproduce harmful perceptions of benthic zones as resource frontiers, the project will foreground encounters and relationships between deep sea technologies, human actors and multispecies communities. This historically and critically informed approach departs from previous research on deep sea technology by examining the sociotechnological flows of information and ideas about the deep sea.

Photo by: NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, 2016. 

Fellow Project Principal Investigator

Lisa Han | Assistant Professor, Department of English