The Present and Future of Coral Reefs: Perspectives from the Coral Cabal

Type: Paper
Sponsor Groups:
Poster #:
Day: 4/7/2019
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM (Eastern Standard Time)
Room: Marshall North, Marriott, Mezzanine Level
Organizers: Amelia Moore, C. Anne Claus
Chairs: Amelia Moore


Exoticized, commodified, vilified, sanctified, ignored: coral reefs and coral beings have been the target of wide ranging public opinion depending on the time and place in question. Starting with coral as a guide and inspired by diverse collaborations like the Matsutake Research Collaborative, this panel both represents and seeks to foment new alliances designed to address the Anthropocene. Bringing a range of scholars together around coral reefs, including scholars of the humanities, socioecology, anthropology, and geography this experimental panel will shed new light on human relationships to coral in the hopes that we might help extend our futures with coral.

These papers present a range of philosophical and methodological engagements with corals. The papers target corals themselves, the philosophical inquiries they engender, the communities supported by corals through historical connections and new economic and ecological entanglements, and the coral scientists who feel responsible for averting environmental catastrophe. Braverman looks at the stories of coral scientists themselves, documenting the existential crises that they struggle with as their research subjects face multiple imminent threats. Meyers inquires into the ways that underwater sculpture in the Canary Islands suggestively performs resilience because of its association with coral ecology. Vandenberg explores different socioecological variables in a coastal Indonesian community targeted by a privately funded coral reef restoration program in order to assess the validity of the program's promises. Claus and Moore together position coral reefs as animal, vegetable, and mineral symbionts, and thus as an important material and metaphorical site for increased collaboration between natural science, social science, and the humanities. Together, these papers reveal the possibilities that might emerge from a symbiotic coral network.


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Presenter C. Anne Claus*, American University, Amelia Moore*, University of Rhode Island -, Welcome to the Coral Cabal 20 8:00 AM
Presenter Rennie Meyers*, University of Rhode Island Marine Affairs, An aesthetics of resilience: design and agency in contemporary coral restoration 20 8:20 AM
Presenter Jessica Vandenberg*, University of Rhode Island, The Mismatch Between Objectives and Outcomes in Coral Reef Restoration Programs in Indonesia: A Case Study in the Spermonde Archipelago of Indonesia 20 8:40 AM
Discussant Amelia Moore University of Rhode Island - 20 9:00 AM

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