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Wells Fargo Lecture: “Dredging the Atlantic World: How Ships and Sedimentation Link the Lowcountry with the Panama Canal”
January 25, 2019 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
A Lecture by Dr. Ashley Carse, Assistant Professor in the Department of Human and Organizational Development, Vanderbilt University
How are the cities and ports of the Carolina Lowcountry connected with the Atlantic World and beyond? We often conceptualize such global interconnections in terms of the “flow” or “circulation” of commodities, bodies, and information from one place to another. While useful, these metaphors can also distract our attention from the localized construction and maintenance of the infrastructure (roads and cables, pipelines and ports) that make the cheap, rapid connectivity of globalization possible. Through an analysis of harbor deepening projects at the Port of Charleston and Port of Savannah, two of the many dredging projects on the US Atlantic and Gulf Coasts associated with the recent Panama Canal expansion, Carse shows how distant waterways are standardized to accommodate new generations of megaships. Dredging focuses our attention on the local, material transformation of environments for circulation.