There will be a veritable cascade of ‘Wet Geography’ panels at next week’s Royal Geographical Society meeting in Exeter. Over the course of three days, participants will be exploring our watery world from (at least) three different perspectives.
Wet Geographies I (Under the Sea: Geographies of the Deep) is probably the most straightforward of the three sets of panels. It’s just one panel, but it will be a good one. Or at least I hope so, since that’s where I’m presenting. Building in part on the Wet Ontologies project that I’ve been publishing on with Kimberley Peters, the participants in this panel will be querying how the depth, mobility, darkness, and liquidity of the ocean can be applied to knowledge of the sea and beyond. The Wet Geographies I panel, at which Kim and I will be presenting our paper ‘Giving new depth to territory: reconfiguring volume through oceanic thinking’, will be held on Wednesday from 1110 – 1250.
Wet Geographies II (Water in the Anthropocene) takes a somewhat different tack, investigating the various ways in which water (including freshwater, floodwater, etc.) inserts itself into the spaces of human (and non-human) lives. There will be two Wet Geographies II paper sessions, both also on Wednesday, from 1440 – 1620 and from 1650 – 1830.
The third, and most extensive, component of Wet Geographies,Wet Geographies III, blends art and geography to interrogate watery livelihoods and land/seascapes. This begins on Wednesday at lunch time (1310 – 1425), with a screening of seven short films. The Wet Geographies III programme picks up again on Thursday at lunch time (1310 – 1425) with the performance group PIDGE delivering their performance-lecture ‘Still or Sparkling’. Wet Geographies III continues on Friday with a series of artist performance-talks (0900-1040) and a final panel discussion (1110 – 1250) where two presenters from each of the three sets of ‘Wet Geographies’ panels will explore what we’ve learned from three days of intense exposure to each others’ theoretical frames and forms of presentation. This will be followed up by a repeat film screening over lunch (1310-1425). Finally, throughout the entire conference there will be a drawing installation by artist Lynn Imperatore.
Confused? Overwhelmed? Here’s the day-by-day composite Wet Geographies schedule in a nutshell for Wednesday 2 September through Friday 4 September:
- Wednesday 1110-1250: Wet Geographies I: Geographies of the Deep (Forum, Seminar Room 2) — Papers by Farnum, Probyn, White, and Steinberg/Peters, with Jeffrey discussant
- Wednesday 1310-1425: Wet Geographies III: Film Screening (Newman, Lecture Theatre F) — films by Polmeer, Lee, Kramer, Le Gear, Allen, Mulvilhill, and Husberg/McLean
- Wednesday 1440-1620: Wet Geographies II: Water in the Anthropocene, part 1 (Forum, Seminar Room 2) — Papers by Brown, Hartley, St. John, Bhatka/Fisher/Reed, and Birkinshaw
- Wednesday 1650-1830: Wet Geographies II: Water in the Anthropocene, part 2 (Forum, Seminar Room 2 ) — Papers by Farnum/McDougal/Thompson, Smith/Goodwin/Frijns, Bryant, Browne/Hoolohan, and Foley
- Thursday 1310-1425: Wet Geographies III: PIDGE presents ‘Still or Sparkling’ (Newman, Lecture Theatre F)
- Friday 0900-1040: Wet Geographies III: Artist presentations (Queen’s, Lecture Theatre 4.1/4.2) — Presentations by Donald, Allen, Still/Whistler, Laidler/Jamieson, Trangmar, Burford/Urwick/Imperatore
- Friday 1110-1250: Wet Geographies I/II/III: Panel of presenters/participants from the three sets of sessions (Queen’s, Lecture Theatre 4.1/4.2) — Lee, Vickery, Squire, Probyn, Jones, Farnum, Steinberg
- Friday 1310-1425: Wet Geographies III: Film Screening (Newman, Lecture Theatre F) — repeat of Wednesday screening; films by Polmeer, Lee, Kramer, Le Gear, Allen, Mulvihill, and Husberg/McLean
- Ongoing: Wet Geographies III Art Exhibition (Forum) — Lynn Imperatore’s ‘There’s a Hole in the Bottom of the Sea, Ash Wednesday, 1962’
While part by chance and part by design, putting this in place has been a tremendous undertaking, and I think I can speak for every panelist, presenter, and exhibiter in thanking Veronica Vickery for piecing together the various Wet Geographies III elements as well as facilitating their integration with Wet Geographies I and II. Her Water-Worlds blog has more information on the art programme, including material from several of the artists who will be exhibiting or presenting at the RGS meeting.