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Monsoon [+Other] Waters Symposium

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Room M416

University of Westminster

35 Marylebone Road



United Kingdom

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12th & 13th April 2018

Monsoon Waters is the second in a series of symposia convened by the Monsoon Assemblages project. It will comprise inter-disciplinary panels, key-note addresses and an exhibition. It will bring together established and young scholars and practitioners from a range of disciplines, knowledge systems and practices to engage in conversations about the ontologies, epistemologies, histories, politics, practices and spatialities of monsoon waters.

Confirmed key note speakers at the symposium are:

Anuradha Mathur and Dilip da Cunha: 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 design.

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.

*If you would like to attend both event dates, please book a ticket for each date separately*

Event Programme

Thursday 12 April

13:30 | Registration

13:45 | Welcome: Harry Charrington

14:00 – 15:45 | Panel 1: Sub-merged Imaginaries

  • Ifor Duncan, University of London: Fluvial Visions
  • Pamila Gupta, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa: Ways of Seeing Water
  • Laura Denning, Bath Spa University: Rhyne and Huish
  • Jesse Ransley, University of Southampton: Living by, in and on water: Watery Assemblages in the Keralan Backwaters

15:45 | Tea

16:15 – 17:30 | Panel 2: Liquid Matters

  • Megnaa Mehtaa, London School of Economics: Ethical imaginations of the monsoons: The sweet and the salty of the Sundarbans delta of West Bengal
  • Pedro Pombo, IIT Gandhinagar: Soaking cartographies: of water and materiality
  • Pushpa Arabindoo, University College London: Chennai’s Hydropolitics [and the urgent need for a seasonal (re)imaginary]

18.00 | Keynote 1: Anuradha Mathur, University of Pennsylvania + Dilip da Cunha, Columbia University

Friday 13 April

09.45 | Registration

10.00 | Welcome + Introduction: Lindsay Bremner

10.15 – 12:00 | Panel 3: Overflow + Risk

  • Theresa Zimmermann, Free University of Berlin, Germany: Exceeding the imaginable
  • Avantika Bhaksar + Jayshree Vencatesan, Care Earth Trust, India: Catching it where it Falls: Water Management Challenges in a Drought Prone District of Southern India
  • David Wallace Mathewson, University of Westminster: Historic institutionalism and urban morphology in Jakarta: Moving towards building flood resiliency into formal planning and development
  • Laura Verdelli, University of Tours, France: Integrating Flood risk in Urban and Architectural Projects

12.00 | Keynote 2: Kirsten Hastrup, University of Copenhagen, Denmark: Water Literacy: Challenges of Living with Troubled Waters

13.30 | Lunch

14:30 – 16:15 | Panel 4: Instrumentalising Material Waters

  • Matthaus Rest, Max Planck Institute, Germany: Nepalko pani janatako lagani: Nepal’s Water for Nepal’s People?
  • David Whyte, University College London: Surfing out of the Atmosphere: Lamenting the loss of saltwater in Man-made wave pools
  • Anthony Acciavatti, Columbia University, USA: Ganges Water Machine: Changes of State Across the Ganga Basin
  • Ranee Vedamuthu1 + R.H. Rukkumany, Anna University, India: Storing Monsoon waters: The Tank systems of Tamilnadu

16:15 | Tea

16.45 – 18.00 | Panel 5: Registers + interlocutors

  • Mary Geary, University of Brighton: Chronos and Kairos: Time, water, memory and the wayfaring riverbank
  • Olusegun Stephen Titus, Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria: Oil Exploration and Sea Degradation: A Musical Narrative from Niger Delta Region of Nigeria
  • Beth Cullen, University of Westminster: Eris as monsoon infrastructure: a re-reading of Chennai’s rainwater tanks

18:00 | Closing remarks: Exhibition + Drinks

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Room M416

University of Westminster

35 Marylebone Road



United Kingdom

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