Monsoon Waters Symposium – Call for Papers
*Deadline*: 08 January 2018
*Symposium Dates*: 12-13 April 2018
*Venue*: University of Westminster, London, UK
Proposals for papers are invited for Monsoon Waters, the second in a series
of symposia convened by Monsoon Assemblages, a research project funded by
the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020
research and innovation programme.
We live in a world where political geography and spatial planning have
assumed permanent and easily observable divides between land, sea and air.
Land is understood as solid, stable, divisible and the basis of human
habitation; the sea is understood as liquid, mobile, indivisible, and
hostile to human settlement; air is understood as gaseous, mobile,
invisible and indispensable to human life. The monsoon cuts across these
divisions. It inundates lived environments every year, connecting land with
sea and sky. It is a spatial practice that reorganises air, water, land,
settlements, cities, buildings and bodies through heat, wind, rain,
inundation, saturation and flow. It unites science with politics and policy
with affect. Today climate change is disrupting its cycles and explosive
social and economic growth and rapid urbanisation are increasing the
uncertainty of its effects. How can spatial design and the environmental
humanities respond to these conditions by drawing on the monsoon as a
template for spatial theory, analysis and design practice?
In order to deepen its responses to these questions Monsoon Assemblages is
convening three symposia between 2017 and 2019 framed by the states of
matter connected by the monsoon – air, water and ground. Monsoon [+ other] Airs took place in April 2017. The second symposium,Monsoon Waters will
take place on 12-13 April 2018. It will comprise inter-disciplinary panels,
key-note addresses and an exhibition and aims to bring together established
and young scholars and practitioners from a range of disciplines,
literatures, knowledge systems and practices (theoretical, empirical,
political, aesthetic, everyday) to engage in conversations about the
ontologies, epistemologies, histories, politics and practices of monsoon
waters. We are particularly interested in contributions that investigate
*Wet monsoon ontologies*
Following Mathur and da Cunha  we are interested in contributions that
explore wetness (in the air, on the earth, under the earth) as a way of
being, cultures of wetness, and the urban, environmental and political
consequences of attitudes towards being wet.
*Late-modern monsoon waters*
We are interested in contributions that explore attitudes towards water in
south Asia since the mid 1980’s, their history, their urban, environmental
and political consequences and the ways-of-being-monsoon-water that these
attitudes have produced, such as flood-water, deficient-water, toxic-water,
beautified-water, bottled-water etc.
*Monsoon waters in a changing climate*
We are interested in contributions that explore monsoonal cycles of wetness
and dryness from the perspective of climate change, any changes in
political, social or economic behaviour these might be catalysing and in
new or invigorated social movements these changes might be inspiring.
*Visualising monsoon waters*
We are interested in contributions that explore ways of visualising
of wetness and dryness, (in the air, on the earth, under the earth) and
their consequences for spatial design practice.
*Confirmed key note speakers at the symposium are:*
*Anuradha Mathur Dilip da Cunha:* architects, planners and landscape
architects based in Philadelphia, USA and Bangalore, India, whose work is
focused on how water is conceptualised and visualised in ways that lead to
conditions of its excess and scarcity, and the opportunities that its
ubiquity offers for new visualizations of terrain, and resilience through
*Kirsten Blinkenberg Hastrup:* environmental anthropologist based in
Copenhagen, Denmark, whose work deals with social responses to climate
change across the globe, currently centered in the Thule Area, NW Greenland.
Contributions are invited in response to these provocations. They should
take the form of 150 – 250 word abstracts for either papers or creative,
practice based contributions such as drawings, photographs, videos,
performances, musical compositions etc. *Enquiries or abstracts should be
sent to Lindsay Bremner at firstname.lastname@example.org
<email@example.com> by 08 January 2018*. Abstracts will be
reviewed by the Monsoon Assemblages team and authors will be notified by 29
January 2018 whether their contributions have been accepted or not. There
is no registration fee for the symposium, but participants will be required
to secure their own funding to attend it. Participants will be requested to
submit their contributions for publication in the symposium proceedings,
or, potentially, a special journal issue.
Monsoon Assemblages is a research project funded by the European Research
Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and
innovation programme (Grant Agreement No. 679873).