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The sea wolf and the sovereign

The sea wolf and the sovereign
The sea wolf and the sovereign
Distrust of abstraction is prominent in recent writing about oceans. This suspicion drives our attention toward saltwater materialities. To return to abstraction might, therefore, seem retrograde. However, what is curious about this ‘material turn’ within ocean studies is the sense that imagined oceans need assailing in order to enable full appreciation of the sights, sounds, smells, feelings, experiences of the material ocean. Chapter 12 works from the apprehension that immaterial oceans are obstructions. It is interested in the ocean as an ongoing source of symbols and similes, of metaphors and analogues that curtail or enlarge how we imagine the world in ways that matter. The chapter illustrates this through tracking and analysing the metaphor of the sea wolf. It then uses this analysis to interrupt an exemplary argument about the nature of modern sovereignty, as played-out between two prominent thinkers in the field, Giorgio Agamben and Jacques Derrida. Finally, this chapter suggests how fabulous metaphors inspired by the ocean might become critical paradigms for changing how we conceive and address sovereign power.
Agamben, Derrida, metaphor, pirates, sea wolf, sovereignty
237-253
Duke University Press
Jones, Stephanie
19fbdd53-fdd0-43ad-9203-7462e5f658c6
Braverman, Irus
Johnson, Elizabeth R.
Jones, Stephanie
19fbdd53-fdd0-43ad-9203-7462e5f658c6
Braverman, Irus
Johnson, Elizabeth R.

Jones, Stephanie (2020) The sea wolf and the sovereign. In, Braverman, Irus and Johnson, Elizabeth R. (eds.) Blue Legalities: The Life and Laws of the Sea. First ed. Durham, US. Duke University Press, pp. 237-253. (doi:10.1215/9781478007289).

Record type: Book Section

Abstract

Distrust of abstraction is prominent in recent writing about oceans. This suspicion drives our attention toward saltwater materialities. To return to abstraction might, therefore, seem retrograde. However, what is curious about this ‘material turn’ within ocean studies is the sense that imagined oceans need assailing in order to enable full appreciation of the sights, sounds, smells, feelings, experiences of the material ocean. Chapter 12 works from the apprehension that immaterial oceans are obstructions. It is interested in the ocean as an ongoing source of symbols and similes, of metaphors and analogues that curtail or enlarge how we imagine the world in ways that matter. The chapter illustrates this through tracking and analysing the metaphor of the sea wolf. It then uses this analysis to interrupt an exemplary argument about the nature of modern sovereignty, as played-out between two prominent thinkers in the field, Giorgio Agamben and Jacques Derrida. Finally, this chapter suggests how fabulous metaphors inspired by the ocean might become critical paradigms for changing how we conceive and address sovereign power.

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Accepted/In Press date: 2019
Published date: January 2020
Keywords: Agamben, Derrida, metaphor, pirates, sea wolf, sovereignty

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 429721
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/429721
PURE UUID: 9a417010-6729-45d4-aa14-c546a3a62dec

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Date deposited: 04 Apr 2019 16:30
Last modified: 04 Mar 2021 17:41

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