Motion and stillness in the river: Towards understanding the riverine environments in Asia

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Call for Papers
March 16, 2023 to March 19, 2023
United States
Subject Fields: 
Anthropology, Environmental History / Studies, Geography, Sociology, South Asian History / Studies

Rivers move. It is notable that with all the interest in river mobility in recent years– waterscapes, hydraulic infrastructures, wet ontologies–there is little engagement with the question of what makes a river and how earthly forces contribute to its making. This panel takes the increasingly precarious conditions of river fluidity to ask how current socio-political and economic order are produced alongside terrestrial orders for the circulation of life, material, and capital. While the condition of flow is essential to rivers, we seek to understand the stillness. Whereas water constitutes rivers we investigate other material elements. In interrogating the silt, sand, soil, mud, clay, dirt, debris, bio-organisms, and waste that make up the rivers we ask what is it that moves in rivers; how is the power of motion and stillness organized in rivers; and how is this organization bound with the human element? Without dismissing the importance of motion and water, we want to foreground the varied ways in which people who have been living in the riverine environments are also engaging with the matters in the river.

We invite papers from interdisciplinary scholars working at the convergence of river and riverine environments across Asia from different periods. The contributions may be based on empirical studies, explorations, and reflections in and of the riverine environments of Asia.

If you want to present a paper in our session, please send your abstract in a Word attachment to and  no later than August 7, 2022. The abstract should be max 250 words (excluding title and author info) and should include affiliation (if applicable), rank (graduate student, fellow etc.), gender, and contact information for all co‐authors. We will submit our final proposal for a paper session, via the AAS portal on August 10, 2022.

Contact Info: 

Sampurna Das (University of Delhi, India) 

 Saumya Pandey (Chr. Michelsen Institute, Norway & Ghent University, Belgium)

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