Dyking boundaries in San Jose, Manila   © Rapti Siriwardane-de Zoysa

Roundtable Symposium

Translating Sea-Level Change in Urban Life:

Policies, Practices, and their Intersections in Island Southeast Asia

An International Roundtable Symposium hosted by EMERSA – Epistemic Mobilities and the Governance of Environmental Risks in Island Southeast Asia, a DFG-financed research project.

Jakarta, Indonesia, 5 & 6 September 2018 @ Center for Urban and Regional Studies (4th floor), Universitas Indonesia (Salemba campus)

With a public photographic exhibition on September 4th, 19.00-21.00 (venue – Ke:kini Gallery, ground floor, Jalan Cikini Raya No. 45, Cikini, Menteng)

The symposium ‘Translating Sea-Level Change in Urban Life’ aims to bring together researchers from the social sciences, the humanities and area studies with practitioners and policy-makers that work across a diverse range of themes relating to the lived and experiential aspects of (relative) sea-level change in Southeast Asia.

Drawing inspiration from the recent ‘mobility’ and ‘translational’ turns across the social sciences and the humanities, the event seeks to discuss how sea-level change dynamics in island and archipelagic megacities and other urban settings can be empirically studied and re-theorized beyond their mainstream articulations as sources of risk and ‘riskscapes.’

At its core, the symposium seeks to advance several nascent lines of inquiry that engage with how:  a) diversely the amorphous notion of ‘sea-level change’ is interpreted across urban spaces; b) coastal societies in Southeast Asia are reconfiguring what it means to live with/out water in everyday life; c) policies and everyday social practices of living with/out water have been transforming contemporary urban life, and indeed the very imaginaries and futures of ‘urbanity’ in island and archipelagic Southeast Asia.

The event is targeted at international researchers and scholars that work at the science-policy interface spanning a range of disciplines that include geography, sociology, anthropology, political science and environmental history.

In particular, we welcome contributions that focus on how ways of living with water are being socio-culturally translated in urban contexts. These may include topics such as:

  • Imaginaries, contradictions, and broader material and discursive politics of coastal protection, mitigation and adaptation in Southeast Asian cities;
  • Socio-political contestations in the making of ‘new’ and hybrid knowledge(s), policies, and coastal justice concerns (e.g. in connection to the enclosure and privatization of shorelines, gentrification, ‘coastal gating’ and urban displacement);
  • Living with/out water: everyday discourses and practices that challenge and/or rupture mainstream modes of coastal life (e.g.  blue-green urban utopianism(s), artificial island reclamation, the refashioning of terra-aqueous lifeworlds through ‘amphibious’ forms of dwelling, seasteading etc.);
  • Futuring the Coastal Metropolis in policy and other socio-ecological and technological innovations.

Keynote speaker: Dr. Matthew Schneider-Mayerson (Environmental Studies), Yale-NUS College, Singapore
Title: “Feeling Sea Level Rise: Narrative, Perception, and Action”

The symposium will be organized in the form of a roundtable dialogue with respect to submitted papers (first drafts), and their corresponding presentations. Particular emphasis will be placed on refining arguments and texts in preparation for the edited volume/special issue.

Abstract submissions

Participants are encouraged to submit an abstract (max. 250 words) and a short resumé to Dr. Rapti Siriwardane-de Zoysa (rsi@leibniz-zmt.de) and Dr. Johannes Herbeck (herbeck@uni-bremen.de).

A limited number of travel grants for speakers and contributors are available upon request. Please note that not all requests can be met, as we will be prioritizing on applications from current postgraduate students. To apply for a small travel grant, please email us before May 15, 2018.

Important dates

Abstract submission deadline: June 3, 2018
Registration deadline: July 1, 2018
Submission of full paper: August 1, 2018

Organizing committee:

ZMT & Uni Bremen: Dr. Rapti Siriwardane-de Zoysa, Dr. Johannes Herbeck

Jakarta: Dr. Hendricus Andy Simarmata & Irene Sondang

PIs (EMERSA project): Prof. Dr. Anna-Katharina Hornidge & Prof. Dr. Micheal Flitner