Imagining the Coast

A Public Symposium on the Humanities and the Sea

September 14-16, 2018
Mystic Seaport and Ender’s Island
Mystic, Connecticut

Conference Overview

“Imagining the Coast” is a public, interdisciplinary symposium that brings together regional students, community members, faculty, artists, museums, and historical societies to discuss the importance of the coastline and seas to our understanding of the region’s history, culture, ecology, and identity, including its global connections. The coast of Connecticut and its bordering states will be the primary focus, but given the inherently global nature of maritime zones, our oceanic connections to other regions will also be considered.

Through a series of panels and exhibits over the course of the three-day symposium, participants and attendees will think about how our shorelines and maritime histories tell the story of our region— socioeconomically, politically, culturally, spiritually, and environmentally—including its connections to other locations via the sea. If your research, civic engagement, pedagogical initiative, or art helps us to imagine the past, present, or future of our coastal livelihood, we invite you to join us.

The final day of the conference on September 16 will feature a light schedule to allow participants to explore the Mystic Seaport Museum.

“Imagining the Coast” is directed by Fairfield University’s Humanities Institute in the College of Arts and Sciences in collaboration with the Mystic Seaport Museum, CT Humanities, the Maritime Studies Program of the University of Connecticut, the Willson Center for Humanities and Arts at the University of Georgia, and the Atlantic Archipelagos Research Consortium.




Registration for the "Imagining the Coast" symposium is available on the Mystic Seaport website at the link below. Scroll to locate the “Imaging the Coast” event listings and select the conference dates that you wish to attend.

Participants and Attendees: $35
Fairfield University Students and Faculty: $10

Registration includes complimentary coffee and attendance at the evening receptions.

Register Now →

For more information, contact Nels Pearson, PhD, director of the Humanities Institute, at

Hotel Accommodations

Fairfield University has negotiated a special group rate for “Imagining the Coast” symposium attendees at the Hilton Mystic, located at 200 Coogan Blvd. in Mystic, Conn.

Reservations must be booked by August 15, 2018 to qualify for the group rate, and can be made by calling the hotel at 1-800-774-1500 and giving the group code: FUNIV

Visit Hotel Website →

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