Spaces of Speculation

Through RCMC Spaces of Speculation, we aim to stimulate sustained discussions and research on topics related to our research themes.

About RCMC Spaces of Speculation

Spaces of Speculation are recurring meetings for groups of committed researchers who seek to push forward thinking about a given topic and ultimately aim to collaborate or to produce innovative new work. Some Spaces of Speculation will be organized around the work or ideas of RCMC Distinguished fellows, who are selected for their particular expertise on a subject. Spaces of Speculation will explore a variety of formats, including small discussion groups, lectures, masterclasses, seminars, and closed workshops (for publication preparation).

Over the coming months and years, new Spaces of Speculation will be announced. See below for more information on specific Spaces of Speculation.

Image: Nautical chart, meddo, Marshall islands, 1850-1882. RV-316-94. The long and short bamboo sticks of this nautical chart - meddo - represent swells, sea currents and waves. Coconut fiber buttons indicate the islands. Nautical charts of the Marshall Islands were not used in the same way as Western charts but rather served as a reminder. Before a sea voyage was undertaken, sailors memorized all the swells, sea currents and islands indicated on the charts. This type of nautical chart positions the islands relative to the sea currents and does not take into account the actual distance between the islands. The charts could only be understood by the maker. Even experienced sailors could not set out with the meddo without an explanation from the maker. Navigational knowledge was a closely guarded secret and was only passed on to families in a leading position. We know from the donor's documentation that this map identifies the Namorik, Jaluit, Kili, Ebon, and Ailinglaplap atolls, all of which are located in the Ralik Archipelago of the Marshall Islands.