Monday, January 30, 2012


CALL FOR PAPERS: Tapping the Turn: A Conference on Water’s Social Dimensions

The Household Water Researchers Network is calling for papers for Tapping the Turn: A Conference on Water’s Social Dimensions.

This international conference, to be held at the Australian National University, Canberra, Australia, on November 15-16 2012, offers a rare opportunity to present your research and professional work in an international forum dedicated entirely to social and cultural water research.

In recent years, social scientists have imagined ‘social natures’ - naturecultures and natural-technical and sociotechnical assemblages - where nature is not autonomous of human endeavour and human agency and all elements of the environment are understood to imbue, and be imbued by, human cultural activity.

In the modern expert view of water as a scientific element (H2O) this vital and physical ‘resource’ became an exploitable commodity, heroically engineered to supply urban citizens living far from its source. This worldview posited a fundamental separation between the natural realm of water and the social contexts within which it is used, represented and controlled. Modernity has robbed water of its history and geography, severed people’s connections with sources of a vital element and constrained our imaginative capacities to learn and ‘think with’ water.

In spite of that dominant worldview, a revolution in the way people know and represent water is underway. A growing body of literature suggests that ‘water is what we make of it’: its meanings go well beyond scientific definitions.


Papers submissions are particularly welcome that address the following themes:

  1. Living with Water - City, country, farm, home, body, spirit Household water use; rural and remote issues; cultural meanings and spiritual values of water; water and well-being.
  2. Water Geographies, Histories and Futures - Tracing, writing, mapping, modelling Water heritage; integrated and participatory water planning; site-specific water management.
  3. Water Security and Insecurity - The hydropolitics of fear Social aspects of water sustainability; demand management planning; predictability, unpredictability and complexity.
  4. Water Genders, Cultures, Politics - Water governanceinside and outside the home. Different cultural meanings; gendered water use; masculinity, femininity, water governance.

More information.

Deadline: February 24, 2012

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