IDOS researchers bring the ocean to the Royal Geographical Society


Photo: Ramona Haegele presenting her research at RGS Annual Conference.

©Irina Rafliana

Irina Rafliana and Ramona Haegele, both researchers at IDOS and PhD Candidates at the University of Bonn, took part in the RGS-IBG Annual International Conference 2023 themed Climate changed geographies from 29 August to 1 September in London at the Royal Geographical Society.

Together with Rapti Siriwardane-de Zoysa (Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research, Germany) and Iqbal Hafizhul Lisan (Columbia University, US), Irina Rafliana co-chaired a double panel on “Blue Hauntologies and Spectral Seas”. The panels consisted of contributions from the humanities and social sciences spanning all matters of the spectral and ghostly in marine realms and watery spaces. Panellists explored contexts of multiple hauntings within the lively interstices of land, water, the atmospheric and the oceanic.

Session one on “Stranging, Remembering, Resisting” was conducted virtually to enable participants to present their research who were not physically present at the conference. The second in-person session, chaired by Irina Rafliana, dealt with the themes of “Invoking, Tracing, Enduring” and brought together researchers from the UK, Germany and Italy. Research topics spanned from abandoned island in the Maldives, water mobilities in a Welsh village, oceanic geographies of the Zong massacre, epistemic hauntings on a research vessel to emerging ecologies of the plastiphere.

Ramona Haegele presented her research on “’What happens on the vessel stays on the vessel’: An Assemblage of Entanglements, (Epistemic) Hauntings of the past, the present and the future”, which mainly looked into seafarers everyday lives on a research vessel torn between land and sea. Moreover, she reflected on her own positionality as a social scientist on board of a vessel mainly inhabited by natural scientists and crewmembers.

Both sessions concluded with enriching and fruitful discussions between the audience and the panellists.

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