So begins Joy McCann's Wild Sea, the remarkable story of the world's remote Southern, or Antarctic, Ocean. Unlike the Pacific, Atlantic, Indian, and Arctic Oceans with their long maritime histories, little is known about the Southern Ocean. This book takes readers beyond the familiar heroic narratives of polar exploration to explore the nature of this stormy circumpolar ocean and its place in Western and Indigenous histories. Drawing from a vast archive of charts and maps, sea captains' journals, whalers' log books, missionaries' correspondence, voyagers' letters, scientific reports, stories, myths, and her own experiences, McCann embarks on a voyage of discovery across its surfaces and into its depths, revealing its distinctive physical and biological processes as well as the people, species, events, and ideas that have shaped our perceptions of it. The result is both a global story of changing scientific knowledge about oceans and their vulnerability to human actions and a local one, showing how the Southern Ocean has defined and sustained southern environments and people over time.
Beautifully and powerfully written, Wild Sea will raise a broader awareness and appreciation of the natural and cultural history of this little-known ocean and its emerging importance as a barometer of planetary climate change.
Those who point to a decline in the study of place in geography, Entrikin explains, cite three main causes: the apparent homogenization of world culture; the belief that studying particular places is somehow "parochial"; and the tendency of the scientific method to generalize. Entrikin treats each of these in turn, addressing topics that include the Marxist view of a world economy, the moral implications of place (in such notions as community and provincialism), and the empiricist versus neo-Kantian traditions in philosophy.
To geographers arguing the merits of hard, scientific data versus subjective experience, Entrikin offers a compromise. "To understand place", he suggests, "requires that we have access to both an objective and a subjective reality. From the decentered vantage point of the theoretical scientist, place becomes either location or a set of generic relations and loses much of its significance for human action. From the centered viewpoint of the subjective self, place has meaning only in relation to one's own goals and concerns. Place is best viewed from points in-between."