24-25 March 2022, Durham University
River deltas have historically been hotspots for human civilization as populations settle in their fertile grounds seeking resources and opportunities for prosperity. In South Asia, the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna Delta shared by India and Bangladesh hosts over 130 million people, while the Mekong Delta represents the largest agricultural production region of Vietnam; in Africa, the Nile Delta in the north and the Niger Delta in the west represent two of the most significant economic and cultural centers of the continent; in Europe, the Netherlands is located in a delta consisting of many lakes, rivers and canals; the Mississippi Delta in North America, as well as the Magdalena and Amazon Deltas in South America, hold special places in the global discourse on the environmental impact of the Anthropocene. Despite the status of deltas as vital socioecological systems and regional food-baskets, the terrain and the livelihoods of those who rely on them are under threat from human exploitation, environmental degradation and climate change urging for the realization of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
This transdisciplinary conference aims to explore the representations in audiovisual culture of the socioecological challenges faced by delta communities around the world, as well as the relevant cultural strategies and practices employed by vulnerable groups confronted with delta change. In this framework, the conference will examine the role that contemporary audiovisual culture plays in forging global environmental imaginaries and increasing the visibility of the endangered delta futures.
Call for Papers
We invite proposals for papers from a variety of fields that engage with topics including, but not limited to:
- Climate breakdown and delta degradation
- Delta representations in audiovisual media
- Indigenous people and rural communities
- Indigenous filmmaking and photography
- Deltas beyond the Global North–South divide
- Environmental migration
- Ecocides in Africa, South America, and the Arctic
- Critical disaster studies and audiovisual culture
- Delta futures and sustainability
- Resilience and resistance
- Locality and globality of climate change
- Conservation and development
- Gender and sexuality in audiovisual media
- Acoustic ecology of deltaic systems
- Environmental sound art of aquatic ecosystems
- (In)visibility of environmental degradation
- Ecocinema and environmental film festivals
- Participatory and documentary photography
- Audiovisual culture and eco-activism
- Environmental violence and justice
- Ethics and aesthetics of the Anthropocene
- Blue humanities and river deltas
The conference will be held in-person from the 24th to the 25th of March 2022 and will be hosted at Durham University. If you wish to attend remotely, please indicate so when submitting your abstract. A small number of pre-recorded presentations will be accepted.
Those interested are invited to submit an abstract (250-300 words) and a short bio (50 words) by December 15, 2021, to:
The organisers welcome participation by postgraduate research students and early career scholars. Selected papers will be invited for publication in an edited volume after the conference.
Submission deadline: December 15, 2021
Acceptance notification: December 20, 2021
Conference dates: March 24-25, 2022
The “Delta Futures: (In)visibilities in Audiovisual Culture” conference is organized by:
Dr Francisco-J. Hernández Adrián
Associate Professor of Hispanic and Visual Culture Studies/Director of Postgraduate Studies in MLAC, Durham University
Dr Angelos Theocharis
Postdoctoral Researcher in Film, Visual Culture and Media at Durham University
With support from:
- the Living Deltas Hub – an interdisciplinary research Hub funded by the UKRI Global Challenges Research Fund investigating South and Southeast Asian delta sustainability
- the Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience (IHRR) – a world-leading research institute in hazard, risk and resilience based at Durham University
- the School of Modern Languages and Cultures (MLAC) at Durham University
is Lannan Foundation Endowed Chair, Professor of Art & Ecology and founding Director of both the Center for Environmental Arts and Humanities and the Species in Peril project at the University of New Mexico. He is an artist, writer, conservationist, and public scholar. His place-based and community-engaged interdisciplinary and intersectional efforts aim to advance multispecies justice to mitigate the intensifying biodiversity and climate crises. He recently co-edited the Routledge Companion to Contemporary Art, Visual Culture and Climate Change (Routledge, February 2021).
is Co-Director of Centre for Screen Cultures and Lecturer in Film Studies at University of St Andrews. She recently co-edited the dossiers ‘Theorizing Region: Film and Video Cultures in Southeast Asia’ in Journal of Cinema and Media Studies (Spring 2021) and ‘Tracing the Anthropocene in Southeast Asian film and artists’ moving image’ in Screen (Winter 2021). Her first monograph Reverberant Histories: Expanded Listening in Asian Art Cinema and Artists’ Moving Image will be published by Edinburgh University Press in 2023.
is a Chiang Mai based visual artist, currently on a DAAD Artists-in-Berlin Program, who works with a wide variety of mediums such as installation, found objects, still and moving images – mainly with a documentarian approach. She is interested in the change of landscape through political, historical, and literary lenses.
School of Modern Languages and Cultures
Elvet Riverside, New Elvet
Durham, DH1 3JT