1st FLOATS Summer Meeting

13-15 July 2018 Lesvos Island, Greece

In cooperation with the Summer School "Cultures, Migrations, Borders" & the Department of Social Anthropology and History at the University of the Aegean (Lesvos)


To register for the event, send an email to info@floatsea.org with a brief description of your background & your interest in our themes.

Public Workshop

“Utopias at Sea: Refuge, Resistance, Research”

What it is

Our first, inaugural summer meeting in Lesvos, Greece [13-15 July 2018] will explore the practices and theories of utopia at sea. Bringing together academics, artists, activists and others, we will collectively consider a variety of imagined or reasoned conceptions of the perfect social order through the vantage point of the sea. Among the themes we will explore together this summer therefore are the many pressing past and present challenges as well as creative opportunities of both seas and shorelines, from maritime waste and environmental degradation to protests at sea and futuristic maritime bunkers, and from practices of labor and leisure to the realities of refugees and revolutionaries in and through the Mediterranean, to name but a few of these.  Learn more


*The working language is English. Participation is open and free to all.

Conference Schedule

13-15 July 2018

Day 1

Friday, 13th July 2018 (Plomari, Polykentro)

09.30-10.00 | Welcome Note

Marwa Elshakry, Nikolas Kosmatopoulos, Evthymios Papataxiarchis

10.00-11.30  "CROSSINGS"
Live Cargo - Radhika Subramaniam, The New School
Authority at the Port: Industry, Labor, and War - Laura Y. Liu, The New School

Moderator: Marwa Elshakry, Columbia University

11.30-12.00 - Coffee break

12.00-13.30 - "MARKS"
Watermarks - Victoria Hattam, The New School for Social Research
Tracing the Debris - Sarah Green, University of Helsinki
Forensic Oceanography - Lorenzo Pezzani (Goldsmiths) & Charles Heller (University of Geneva)

Moderator: Radhika Subramaniam, The New School for Social Research

13.30-14.30 -  Lunch Break

14.30-16.00 - "REGION"
The Mediterranean Remapped: A Platform of Potentialities -  Heath Cabot & Salvatore Poier, University of Pittsburgh
Revisiting (North-African) History Through a Maritime Lens: Notes and Insights - Daniela Melfa, University of Catania

Moderator: Sarah Green, University of Helsinki

Day 2

Saturday, 14th July 2018 (Plomari, Polykentro)

10.00-11.30 - “TECHNOLOGIES”
Seeing from the Sea - Miriam Ticktin, The New School
Atlas of the Sea - Elisa Kim, Smith College
Sea topology and kinship (re)considerations - Venetia Kantsa, University of the Aegean

Moderator: Heath Cabot, University of Pittsburgh

11.30-12.00 - Coffee Break

12.00-13.30 - “UTOPIAS”
‘Let all know how empty and worthless is the power of kings”…A Sea View - Bridget Anderson, University of Bristol
Dystopic Utopias and the Uchronian Dystopias Across the Seas: The Imagination of Futurism - Marwa Elshakry, Columbia University
All that solidarity does not melt into the sea - Nikolas Kosmatopoulos, American University of Beirut

Moderator: Miriam Ticktin, The New School for Social Research
13.30-14.30 - Lunch Break

14.30-15.30 - “COMMONS”
The Oceans, Freedom of Movement and the struggle for a Global Commons - Nandita Sharma, University of Hawaii at Manoa
The Legacy of Old Laws and the Fight for the Commons in Lebanon - Abir Saksouk-Sasso, Dictaphone Beirut
Moderator: Elisa Kim, Smith College

Day 3 | Public Event:  Flows | Traces| Folds

Sunday, 15th July 2018 (Molivos, Old Mosque)

 Click here for more

Invited Speakers

Get to know our participants


Bridget Anderson | University of Bristol
Heath Cabot & Salvatore Poier| University of Pittsburgh
Marwa ElShakry| Columbia University
Sarah Green | University of Helsinki
Victoria Hattam | New School
Charles Heller | Geneva University
Venetia Kantsa | University of the Aegean
Nikolas Kosmatopoulos |American University of Beirut

Laura Y. Liu | New School
Elisa Kim | Smith College
Daniela Melfa | Catania University
Lorenzo Pezzani |Goldsmiths University
Abir Saksouk-Sasso | Dictaphone Beirut
Nandita Sharma| University of Hawaii
Radhika Subramaniam | New School
Miriam Ticktin | New School


Information for floating guests



Lesvos is the third largest of the Greek islands, located in the north-eastern Aegean Sea. 

Mytilene is the capital city of the island.  In 2015, it began to draw international attention due to the European refugee "crisis", becoming a primary entry point for thousands of people seeking refuge from war, oppressive governments, and economic crises.

Plomari is a seaside town on the southern coast of Lesvos.  It is the old industrial town of the island, where soap factories, ouzo distilleries, flour mills, and olive factories were established, contributing to its economic growth.

Molyvos is an old artistic and intellectual location in Lesvos, with a rich political, social, and cultural history during the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman Periods.

For more logistical information, click here