Call for Posts: Disputed Water Worlds

Chorros Blancos Waterfall, Cajamarca, Colombia. Photograph by Ángela Castillo-Ardila, 2019.

How do people and other beings relate to water across its multiple forms and scales? Water exists in different forms around the world, including rain, mist, ice, streams, fog, seas, rivers, and underflows. Humans engage the multiple forms of waters as irrigation resources, bureaucratic and epistemic objects, commodity, right, materials to be stored and contained, or as mobile volumes – and in this engagement with the material and categorical diversity of water, disputes often arise. This multiplicity shapes how humans and other-than-humans live with and make worlds alongside water. However, this diversity also poses a challenge for scholars attempting to conceptualize water and the struggles surrounding it. This thematic series aims to showcase critical and thoughtful research that explores the specifics of living with diverse water forms, often subject to political, economic, epistemic, semantic, affective, and sensorial disputes. The ethnographic reflections or experimental pieces in this series will highlight how water can be a generative element for rethinking environmental politics, human and other-than-human relationalities, ecological transformations, and conflicts worldwide. We encourage authors to elaborate on the conceptual, methodological, and political affordances, tensions, and foreclosures that arise when examining water, or a specific water form, within their particular field sites. We welcome submissions from different disciplinary fields, such as anthropology, geography, political ecology, sociology, critical environmental studies, and humanities. 

If you would like your work to be considered for publication, please submit your pitch of no more than 500 words to the Editorial Team. Your submission could address some of the following questions, although you are welcome to explore other relevant topics as well.

  • How the milieus where water exists or is embedded, produced, used, contained, and circulated bring to life different water forms. 
  • How water forms infuse spaces, human and other-than-human relationalities, and disputes across the planet with different watery features. 
  • How the multiplicity of water forms demands from those who live with them (those who investigate water forms, those who attempt to regulate water forms, and those who produce claims about water forms, etc.) specific affective, bodily, techno-scientific, legal, and political attunements, connections, and infrastructures.