Helen M. Rozwadowski wins the Sharon Harris Book Award


Helen M. Rozwadowski has won the Sharon Harris Book Award 2019 for her book Vast Expanses: A History of the Oceans.

The Sharon Harris Book Award recognizes 'scholarly depth and intellectual acuity and highlights the importance of humanities scholarship.' This award was founded by the University of Connecticut Humanities Institue (UCHI) in 2017.

The Sharon Harris Book Award Committee stated 'Prof. Rozwadowski’s book is an engaging overview of the oceans from deep prehistory to the present. It focuses on the relationship between people and an environment that once seemed beyond human influence. The idea of the ocean as a limitless frontier flourished but eventually withered in the late twentieth century, as people began to confront the damage they had done through pollution and overfishing. In order for us now to produce positive environmental change, Rozwadowski concludes, 'We must jettison our perception of the ocean as a timeless place, apart from humans.' This concise and readable book demonstrates the value of the humanities in addressing the planet’s looming environmental crisis.'

About UCHI
The mission of the University of Connecticut Humanities Institute is to promote research in the humanities broadly defined, and to act as a voice for that research on the regional, national and international stage. In hosting annual residential fellowships, offering opportunities for humanities-focused programming, and fostering an interdisciplinary space for scholars to think, collaborate, and create, the Institute serves as a global hub for scholars dedicated to humanist scholarship and activism.

About the book
Vast Expanses: A History of the Oceans is a cultural, environmental and geopolitical history that examines the relationship between humans and oceans, reaching back across geological and evolutionary time and exploring different cultures around the globe. Read more about the book here.

About the author
Founder of the University of Connecticut’s Maritime Studies programme, Helen M. Rozwadowski teaches history of science, environmental history and public history as well as interdisciplinary and experiential maritime-related courses. She is the author of Fathoming the Ocean: The Discovery and Exploration of the Deep Sea (2008) and co-editor of Soundings and Crossings: Doing Science at Sea, 1800–1970 (2016).