The Free Sea: A Conversation with Renisa Mawani and Bernhard Siegert

Oct 12, 2016
  • 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
  • Location:
    University Centre, Lower Level, VIP Room 176
    6331 Crescent Road
    Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z2
  • Registration:

“A ship passing the seas leaveth no more right than it does leave a track therein” (Hugo Grotius). What have been and what are the aesthetic, political, and juridical consequences of Grotius’ invention of the “Free Sea”? Do we live in the age of a “Nomos of the Sea”? Or has a “Nomos of the Sea,” in that it exists, always already been a “Nomos of Media”?

In this conversation, Renisa Mawani and Bernhard Siegert will discuss their respective book projects. The event will be moderated by Geoffrey Winthrop-Young.

Bernhard Siegert, 2016 International Visiting Research Scholar at the Peter Wall Institute of Advanced Studies and UBC’s Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory, is Professor of History and Theory of Cultural Techniques at Bauhaus University Weimar, Germany, and Co-director of the International Research Center for Cultural Techniques and Media Philosophy (IKKM). His books include: Cultural Techniques. Grids, Filters, Doors, and Other Articulations of the Real (Fordham, 2015), Passagiere und Papiere: Schreibakte auf der Schwelle zwischen Spanien und Amerika (1530-1600) (Fink 2006), and Passage des Digitalen. Zeichenpraktiken der neuzeitlichen Wissenschaften 1500—1900 (Brinkmann und Bose, 2003).

Renisa Mawani is Associate Professor of Sociology and co-Chair of the Law and Society Program at UBC. She works in the fields of critical theory and colonial legal history and has published widely on law, colonialism, and legal geography. She is the author of Colonial Proximities (2009) and Across Oceans of Law (to be published by Duke University Press). With Iza Hussin, she is co-editor of “The Travels of Law: Indian Ocean Itineraries” published in Law and History Review (2014). In 2015, she received the Killam Prize for Graduate Instruction, a Dean of Arts Faculty Research Award, and a Wall Scholars Research Award at the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies.

Geoffrey Winthrop-Young is Head of the Department of Central, Eastern, and Northern European Studies at UBC.