CFP: Waterworlding—Reflecting on Multiple Waters

Calls for Submissions

The Institute of European Ethnology and Cultural Studies of Marburg Universityis now accepting papers for their conference, “Waterworlding: Reflecting on Multiple Waters,” which will take place virtually June 17–19, 2021.

Long treated as a matter of course, in recent years water has increasingly developed to be worthy of description and debate and has become a socially virulent topic. Discovering its social dimensions and analytical properties, social sciences, humanities, cultural studies and the arts recently have discovered the topic of water. In resonance with these developments the Institute for European Ethnology and Cultural Studies of Marburg University is currently establishing a research focus on water, the prelude of which will be this conference.

Organizers would like to provide an opportunity to connect all those who are conducting research in this field of a new topicality of water, in cultural studies, art, or cultural anthropology. The event is intended to show the broad variety of contributions and concepts currently developing or already being developed and it aims to open up new ways to think how water’s complex interconnectedness can be grasped as methods of these disciplines. Therefore the call invites explicitly contributions which discuss understandings of water diverging from an only scientifically defined compound of hydrogen and oxygen.

Following the pioneering work of the anthropologist Kirsten Hastrup (, this conference takes the concept of waterworlds as a starting point in order to look primarily at the practices of their creation. Talking about and thinking through waterworlding, the conference also takes up the anthropological debate about different ontologies and a multiplicity of water.

Organizers are looking forward to contributions within the range of the following topics and fields of research as well as for other innovative propositions:

  • Water and multiple urbanities
  • Water and multiple modernities
  • Literary concepts of water
  • Approaches to water in the history of arts with explicit contemporary relevance (i.e. climate change; the dissolution of the nature-culture division; technology and nature, posthumanism etc.)
  • Postcolonial perspectives on and thinking through water
  • Studies in science and technology related to water
  • Digitization of water
  • Water as a space of experience
  • Water as a product
  • Materialities of water
  • Aesthetics of water

Confirmed speakers:

Please send abstracts of 1500 characters max., in English or German, with a short academic bio as well as a short explanation of the focus of your research by April 12, 2021 to: [email protected]

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