Abstract

It is hard not to consider sea-level rise as reflective of an imminent crisis. Drawing together insights from Black feminism and Indigenous thought from the Island Pacific, this article counters a discourse of crisis without uncritically accepting the “oceanifying” of the planet. It moves between analyses of poetic, visual, and plant cultivation practices to show that there is a rubric for living and thinking with the ocean that emphasizes how human and nonhuman life can “become-with” each other in response to ecological degradation while still grappling with the lived legacies of colonial pasts. These oceanic coordinations are ways of knowing that destabilize human exceptionalism from the outset while not excluding the human entirely. Rather, these frameworks incorporate human-nonhuman relations to expand our frame of reference, challenging dominant anthropocentric narratives of crisis and helping imagine and live within oceanic futures.

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