This article outlines the genesis and intellectual framing of the American Comparative Literature Association Forum on Oceanic Routes. Marshaling both “Routes” and “Oceanic,” the introduction sketches out the scholarly vectors associated with these terms as a way to assess the current field of Oceanic Studies. “Routes” points to work on the chronotope of the ship; vernacular and subaltern cosmopolitanisms at sea; inter-imperial assemblages; new metageographies; and the resource exploitation, militarization, and securitization of the ocean. “Oceanic” points to recent work on the hydromateriality of the seas from a post-human and planetary perspective. To these streams of scholarship, the article adds the notion of “hydrocolonialism.” The article ends with a summary of the contributions that make up the forum.

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