We are launching the new AHRC network: Learning to Live with Water: Flood histories, Environmental Change, Remembrance and Resilience. This email indicates the aims of the new network, the workshop themes and how you can get involved.
The overarching aim of this project is to establish distinctive, innovative and engaging arts and humanities research perspectives on watery and flooded landscapes and their environmental change, and local life with them, through an interdisciplinary and inter-professional network of international significance. Within this we seek to:
• To identify new theoretical and conceptual frameworks for exploring wet and episodically flooded landscapes and how people live with them.
• To explore how memories, archives and mnemonic practices surrounding extreme and casual flooding, awareness of flood/watery heritage, local/lay/informal knowledge of 18th-21st century floods have been and are experienced, remembered, materialised, formalised and enhanced in UK lowland/wetland floodplain communities. The idea here is that the deep, time-rich and embodied practice of coping with water in and on the landscape is one that can be both shared and materialised in the ‘waterscape’.
• To research the changing and potential role of different creative practices – including flood marking, oral history, creative writing, local archives, websites, local history writing, storytelling/digital storytelling, reminiscence theatre, performance arts, digital archiving, social networking, and photography/film making, singing, song writing – have in developing knowledge about flood histories and environmental change which may help local communities live with(in) watery landscapes in an emotionally and practically resilient way.
• To apply the insights gained from the network to explore how social learning around extreme floods/flood risk watery sense of place and their histories can be supported and developed by a range of agencies (academics, artists, government bodies, NGOs) in the wider governance frameworks aimed at developing community resilience to future flood risk.
This research seeks to bridge between artistic and conceptual practice, and practical community development and policy development in the very important area of flood risk and flood resilience. More information is available on our website at http://www.glos.ac.uk/livingfloodhistories (to be confirmed).
Network activities over 2010/11 involve three interdisciplinary workshops and a Living conference.
Workshop 1: Floods and environmental change: conceptual frameworks for
watery landscapes and living with floods – at University of the West of England (UWE), Bristol. Discussion organised by Dr Owain Jones, (cultural geographer), UWE. To be held on 26th November 2010.
Workshop 2: Flood heritage: exploring flood archives for understanding the
known pathways to resilience – at University of Gloucestershire, Cheltenham
(in collaboration with the Centre for Study of Floods and Communities, University of Gloucestershire). Discussion organised by Professor Lindsey McEwen (physical geographer; flood archives and histories). To be held on 3rd February 2010.
Workshop 3: Flood Stories: Exploring Informal Narratives of Resilience Past
and Present – at Storytelling Centre, University of Glamorgan, Cardiff
(in collaboration with the Glamorgan Centre for Disaster Management). Discussion organised by Professor Mike Wilson (storytelling), University College Falmouth. To be held on 30th March, 2011.
Living Flood Histories conference: ‘Learning to Live: Floods and Futures’ in Gloucester, UK on the River Severn; date in late June 2011 to be confirmed shortly.
HOW YOU CAN GET INVOLVED
• Register on our contact database: email LivingFloodHistories@glos.ac.uk with you contact details
• Contribute your comments on the workshop themes to the WebBlog – firstname.lastname@example.org
• Offer to act as a discussant at the workshops or conference. We have already got some lead discussants in place but are looking for other contributors to make the sessions different, lively and productive and well linked to the arts and humanities setting of the network.
• Participate in the workshops and Living conference – in person or virtually
• Submit an 300 word abstract for consideration as a paper/ essay to LivingFloodHistories@glos.ac.uk
• Contribute an innovative research practice – performance/ artefact/ story to the Living conference (June 2011)
We look forward to creating a vibrant interdisciplinary network that acts as an effective platform for new research dialogues, collaborative writing and in the longer-term research funding applications linked to living flood history research agendas. Please circulate this email around interested individuals and groups.
Lindsey McEwen – on behalf of project team
Professor Lindsey McEwen
Centre for the Study of Floods and Communities
University of Gloucestershire
Francis Close Hall
Tele: ++44(0)1242 714675