Mediating Ocean Futures

Fall 2023

iCourse | Session C


How do our past relationships with the ocean affect how we imagine the future?


How are different ocean users and stakeholders building the future of our oceans?


What are the affordances of different modes of storytelling to creating impactful ocean messages?


How do we share and communicate knowledge about the ocean across different communities?

Why is it important to think about our ocean futures from diverse, decolonial, non-Western, and marginalized perspectives?

In this UNESCO BRIDGES series of Humanities Labs, we will focus on the principles outlined in UNESCO's Guidelines for Sustainability Science in Research and Education. As issues such as climate change, sea-level rise, pollution, and extraction have increasingly threatened our oceans, humanities scholars and ocean activists have turned their attentions to humanity’s relationship to the oceans, past, present, and future. Mediating Ocean Futures investigates how ocean users, storytellers, scientists, policymakers, and activists have imagined, mediated, and regulated the seas. Beyond dominant understandings of blue economy, student teams will do expansive research into how diverse communities care for and create knowledge about ocean ecosystems. In particular, we will reflect on the role of different kinds of ocean storytelling in helping to build a just and sustainable planetary future.


Impact Outcomes

Students will share their findings with the general public in a format of their choosing. Check this page at the end of the semester for updates!

Ocean Futures in the News

At the Humanities Lab, we strive to ensure our Labs are relevant and current. Here are some recent articles about ocean's and their futures in today’s news.

The Arctic Is Becoming Wetter and Stormier, Scientists Warn

Sylvia Earle: ‘We are on the brink – a million species may be lost’

Enrollment Information

Fall 2023

iCourse | Session C

Humanities Lab HUL 494 & 598
Film and Media Studies FMS 494 & 598

Instructional Team

Seize the Moment

This Lab is presented through Seize the Moment, an initiative of Leonardo, the Humanities Lab, and the Global Futures Laboratory at Arizona State University. In an alarming syndemic of intersecting crises—the coronavirus pandemic, racial injustice and accompanying civil unrest, and cascading environmental hazards—Seize the Moment addresses the grand challenges of the day through transdisciplinary arts, science, technological, and humanities collaborations in research, pedagogy, and public engagement. To learn more, visit our website at

simple text logos for Leonardo, the Humanities Lab and the Global Futures Laboratory at Arizona State University