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Martin Döring - Images of Coast


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This talk sets introduces Martin’s culturally focused work on the coast. It was presented at Workshop 3 of the The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) and AHRC Humanities Research Networking and Exchange Scheme; ‘“Between the Tides”. Comparative arts and humanities approaches to living with(in) intertidal landscapes in UK & the Netherlands. Learning from those who live and work with complexity, change and fragility’ on 23rd Oct 2103 in Windmill Hill City Farm, Bristol UK.

The project is led by Dr Owain Jones of CCRI with Dr. Bettina van Hoven Department of Cultural Geography, Faculty of Spatial Sciences, University of Groningen.

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Martin Döring - Images of Coast

  1. 1. Coastal Images – Images of Coast: A Personal Story of Coast as a Research Object Martin Döring (University of Hamburg and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht)
  2. 2. Where it all started: • I studied Romance languages and Art History at the University of Hamburg and at the Université 3 de Paris. • Emphasis on linguistics and critical discourse analysis which I finished with MA-thesis on pamphlets on comets stemming from the 16th century. Comet of 1618 • Started working on the research project Coastal Images – Images of Coast (1996-1998) financed by the GKSS- Research Centre. 2
  3. 3. The project Coastal Images: • Interdisciplinary project in cooperation with the Institute for Coastal Research at the GKSSResearch Centre (today HelmholtzZentrum Geesthacht). • Basic idea: Bring together scientists from the social sciences and the humanities to explore whether the topic of coast has been adressed. • Managed to gather a small Germanbased coastal research group which met annually. 3
  4. 4. The project Coastal Images: • My own work was on coast in the writings of Maupassant, Flaubert and Pierre Loti: coast as a site where changes in the narrative take place; coastal typologies which represent the charateristics of protagonists. • Advertisements with coast as scenery: mainly insurances and banks which suggest safety; companies which secure energy supply. 4
  5. 5. The project Contested Natures in North Frisia ( 1999-2002) 5
  6. 6. The project Contested Natures in North Frisia: • Investigation of the debates and conflicts revolving around the implementation of a national park in North Frisia. 6
  7. 7. Contested Natures in North Frisia: • My own work was on how the conflicts were represented in the local media and how ‘the locals’ framed the heated debates: Coastal/Frisian identity was at stake: “We are not the Indians of Germany” -> “God created the sea, the Frisians the coast”. legitimating the protection of nature in economic terms proved to be wrong; tourism as a conflict taming procedure did not work. 7
  8. 8. Emplacing Climte Change (20122015): • Aim: to investigate how people perceive and assess the threat of climate change. • Emphasis on how inhabitants of holms, islands and one coastal area perceive their coastal environment. • Mix of methods starting with document analysis, participant observation, interviews and interviews on the go (walking interviews). 8
  9. 9. Thank you very much for your attention! © Döring – FSP BIOGUM 9