May 21, 2021
Texas A&M University at Galveston invites proposals for a one-day, virtual symposium, “Estuaries and the Anthropocene.” This event will bring together scholars from across the humanities, social sciences, and STEM fields to explore the multifaceted connections between human societies and estuarine environments during both historical and contemporary time periods.
As we daily face the multiplying threats posed by anthropogenic climate and environmental change, coastal communities—like those around Galveston Bay, one of the largest estuaries in the United States—must understand these challenges, dangers, and opportunities in order to adapt to their changing worlds. Estuarine environments present a key locus to study the dialectic between human societies and environmental change. Increasingly humanists, social scientists, and natural scientists employ the concept of the anthropocene to describe the myriad changes that human activity has wrought on the earth’s natural systems. As researchers, observers, activists, and environmental managers grapple with these changes, estuarine environments must be at the center of these analyses. While anthropogenic changes to the atmosphere, the oceans, and the earth’s biodiversity have received sustained attention in scholarly and in public discourse, understanding the specific effects of the anthropocene on estuaries and the people who live near them is crucial for coastal communities given humanity’s reliance on these environments.
The conference will take place virtually on May 21, 2021, featuring interdisciplinary panels and will conclude with a keynote address from Prof. Jack E. Davis, the author of The Gulf: The Making of an American Sea and the recipient of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for History.
The symposium is open to paper proposals covering any time period and any part of the earth as long as they address the dynamic relationship between human societies and estuarine environments. Possible topics could include:
- Resource extraction and use
- Landscape change
- Environmental justice
- Indigenous environmental knowledge
- Literature and art
- Environmental activism
- Environmental policy
- Remediation and restoration
- Natural and man-made hazards and disasters
- Human development and the built environment
The symposium invites proposals that consider the intersection of humans and estuaries from any disciplinary background. The multifaceted relationship between human societies and the environment necessitates study from multiple angles. Thus the symposium welcomes participants at all career levels from the humanities, social sciences, and STEM fields. The symposium is also interested in how this relationship resonates beyond the academy and will consider proposals from artists, activists, and anyone else working at the confluence of human societies and estuaries. Given the symposium’s embrace of diverse disciplinary perspectives, we are likewise interested in diverse methods of presentation beyond traditional papers, including, but not limited to, posters, speed talks, and PechaKucha. Research presented at the symposium can embrace a wide array of source bases including archival research, artistic expressions, interviews, biological and social samples, modeling, network analyses, and research designs.
Proposals should be no more than 300 words, indicating the method of presentation, and include a CV. Additionally, the symposium’s proceedings will be considered for publication in an edited collection.
Email submissions to symposium organizer Blake Earle (firstname.lastname@example.org) by February 15, 2021.