Wilberforce Institute, University of Hull, and online, 14-16 July 2023

Scientific knowledge tells us that the Anthropocene’s climate crisis will bring huge changes to the way that water flows in, around, and alongside landscape. Sea levels may rise by 1.1m by 2100, with substantially higher rises likely if Antarctic ice-melt increases (IPCC, 2019). Taken together with increasing severity and frequency of extreme coastal flooding and weather events, it is clear that our relationships with water in the landscape—both in excess and scarcity—face an unprecedented challenge. This hybrid conference responds to that challenge in two ways.

Firstly, it asks what other kinds of knowledge might inform our responses to the challenge of increasingly volatile relationships with water: what can anthropologists, folklorists, and human geographers tell flood and climate science about human/water/landscape relationships?

Secondly, it asks how we can make that other knowledge intelligible to mainstream climate and flood science: how is knowledge about the human/water/landscape relationship co-produced and reproduced? What distinctive perspectives can scholarship from outside the physical geo-sciences bring to the urgent need to develop realistic, Anthropocene-ready resilience strategies?

We are particularly interested in interdisciplinary papers bringing together folklore studies, anthropology, and geography. Topics could include (but are not limited to):

  • Cryptozoology, belief, custom, and tradition
  • Toponymics/hydronymics and historical geographies, place-legends and place-making
  • Water activism and guardianship
  • Water cultures, cultural/historical geography, anthropologies of water and flooding
  • Community co-production models
  • Climate impacts on social (in)justice, risk and resilience, culture and climate migration
  • Environmental memory, folk belief and the environment
  • Maritime traditions, riverine and coastal expressive cultures, songs and stories of water and flood
  • Vernacular architecture and rising tides, traditions under threat from climate change

Proposals for Papers:
Please email 200-word proposals for 20 minute papers, with a brief biographical note,  to [email protected] and copy to [email protected] by the deadline of 31 January 2023, indicating whether you wish to present a paper in person or online. Prospective speakers will be informed by 28 February if their paper has been accepted or not. We also welcome proposals for Posters from Students and ECRs illustrating their work in progress.

Wilberforce Institute, University of Hull, 27 High Street, Hull, HU1 1NE, and online.

Conference Fees:
Standard In-person Rate: Full conference £140, Day Rates: Fri £45 / Sat £90 / Sun £45

Concessionary In-person Rate (Speakers, FLS Members, Students, Seniors): Full conference: £90.00, Day Rates: Fri £35 / Sat £50 / Sun £35

Standard Online Rate: Full conference: £90, Day Rates: Fri £35 / Sat £60 / Sun £35

Concessionary Online Rate (Speakers, FLS Members, Students, Seniors): Full conference £70, Day Rates: Fri £25 / Sat £40 / Sun £25

More information