Water: Ways of Knowing and Being

Sahtu Press author Bryan Thao Worra will be presenting at the UC Merced Center for the Humanities Biennial Conference this April, addressing the writing of science fiction, (as well as fantasy and horror) and where water has fit into the big picture historically and in the future ahead.

The University of Merced's biennial conference on water looks very exciting. They ask interested participants to please register online by March 24: tinyurl.com/ucmwaterconference
This conference is free and open to the public and features: 

1) Keynote Address: 
"Leadership in Principle: Uniting Nations (and Theory) to Consider the Cultural Values of Water," Veronica Strang, Executive Director, Institute of Advanced Study, Durham University.

Veronica Strang is a cultural anthropologist whose research focuses on human-environmental relations and people's engagements with land, resources and in particular water. From 1994 to 1997 she worked as a researcher at Oxford University's Environmental Change Institute, while also teaching at the Pitt Rivers Museum and the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology. In 1997 she took up a post at the University of Wales, and began a project examining water issues in the UK. Based on ethnographic research along the River Stour in Dorset, her book, The Meaning of Water (Berg 2004), considers how the symbolic meanings encoded in water affect patterns of water use and attitudes to water conservation.  

2) Scholarly Panels:

"Water Futures" 

"Waterscapes, Aesthetics and Cultural Production"

"Drought, Political Refugees, and Environmental Migrants" 

3) Community-Engaged Activities:

Environmental Film Workshop with Sanjay Barnela. Sanjay Barnela is one of the founder members of Moving Images, a Delhi-based media production team comprised of film makers and academic researchers who have engaged with a variety of issues of common concern informed by nuanced research. He joined Srishti School of Art, Design & Technology last year, and set up Srishti Films, a production house, at the school to enable students to learn professional documentary film-making. 

Sci Fi Water Workshop with Bryan Thao Worra. Bryan Thao Worra is the president of the Science Fiction Poetry Association, an international literary organization celebrating the poetry of the imaginative and the fantastic. A Lao American writer, and one of the co-founders of Sahtu Press, he holds over 20 awards for his work including an NEA Fellowship in Literature and was a Cultural Olympian representing Laos during the 2012 London Summer Games. The author of 6 books,his work appears internationally including Australia, Canada, Scotland, Germany, France, Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, Korea, and Pakistan. You can visit him online at http://thaoworra.blogspot.com for more news on Asian American science fiction, fantasy, and horror.

Vernal Pools Reserve Tour with Kim De Wolff.  Kim De Wolff received her Ph.D. in Communication and Science Studies from the University of California, San Diego. Her research interests include the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and oceanic environmental problems with cultures of consumption and waste. During her fellowship, De Wolff will extend her research to elaborate how undercurrents of capitalism form a garbage patch and how the debris from the March 2011 Japan Tsunami redefines problems of plastic pollution in the North Pacific. Her public humanities project “Watershed Connections: the Art and Science of Ecological Flows” will consist of a series of collaborative events that connect water-themed art and science with the community in the context of immediate local challenges.

Photography Exhibit with Rina Faletti. Rina Faletti received her Ph.D. in Art History from the University of Texas at Austin. Her research interests include art, architectural history, and California history. During her fellowship, Faletti will expand her research to include studies in Southern California and garden, landscape and urban development architecture as it pertains to waterworks sites in California. She plans to curate an art exhibit “Art and Watershed Relevance: California Water in Image, Art and Public Consciousness” as her public humanities project with the Center for Humanities at UC Merced.

Sahtu Press