Call for Papers:

Blue Humanities: Culture, Art and Community

The year 2020 has been full of artistic and activist actions dedicated to water. However, there is still a lack of comprehensive cultural analysis of increased interest in water resulting from the climate crisis and an urgent need to change our attitude towards nature [Attala 2019]. In Polish literature, water-related issues are being tackled rarely and mainly from a popular science perspective. A more scientific approach to water is to be found solely in monographs on general environmental problems. The aim of the publication is to fill the gap, at least to some extent, by introducing Polish readers to hydro-emancipatory discourses of blue humanities.

The thematic issue of ‘Cultural Studies Review’ dedicated to water resonates with alerts of environmental organizations. Hydrologists consider water crisis to be the most serious civilizational problem, which affects all forms of life on Earth. While contemporary paradigm of knowledge – by reducing complexity of ecosystem interconnections to statistical data – allows to rationalize the crisis and to build global strategies and systemic solutions, it carries also a risk of marasm and demise of imagination [Bińczyk 2018].The way activists communicate is to a large extent affective and their embodied experiences of fight for water justice have a significant impact on the way they formulate problems. The fight for life, against patriarchy and capitalism [Boelens et al. 2018], implies rejection of balanced and toned down mode of communication.

In the issue of ‘Cultural Studies Review’ devoted to hydro-critical perspective we are going to grasp the reality of water by taking an engaged, new materialist approach. According to the assumptions of hydrofeminism, water as our kin in terms of a shared watery body is our ally in the fight against climate change [Neimanis 2017]. Since there is still a need of more interdisciplinary accounts of water, which would put it in the center of potential complex conflicts of political, ethnic, racial and teritorial character [Welzer 2020], our focus will be on linking different approaches – such as physics of atmosphere where transformative character of water is being stressed [Kardaś 2019] or climate wars predictions – and adding to them cultural and social dimension. We will explore anticapitalists projects of future embracing multispecies alliances with water critters, inspiring us to imagine the world in the Chthulucene, the post-Anthropocene era [Haraway 2016]. We will also trace blue humanities origins back to Rachel Carlson writings dedicated to sea waters and worlds of underwater plants [Carlson 1941]. Last but not least, we will investigate cultural forms and technological modes that allow capturing interconnectedness of human and non-human worlds [Alaimo 2019], looking into manifestations of emancipatory potential of water in its audio-perceptual milieu [Jue 2020]. This potential will be also explored in the context of research and actions regarding people with different abilities; in the analysis an anthropological concept of hydrogenesis of woman by Elaine Morgan, the author of aquatic analysis of evolution [Morgan 2007], will be challenged and expanded.

Information for authors.

Please send your papers via e-mail: przeglad.kulturoznawczy@uj.edu.pl

Editor of the Issue: dr Ewelina Jarosz,
Chair of Media and Cultural Studies
Pedagogical University of Cracow

Bibliography:

  • Alaimo S., Introduction: Science Studies and the Blue Humanities, “Configurations”, Vol. 27, no.4, Fall 2019, pp. 429-432.
  • Attala L., How Water Makes Us Human. Engagements with Materiality of Water, Univeristy of Wales Press 2019.
  • Boelens Rutgertd, Vos Jeroen, Perreault Tom (eds.), Water Justice, Cambridge University Press, 2018.
  • Bińczyk E., Epoka człowieka: retoryka i marazm antropocenu, Wydawnictwo Naukowe PWN, Warszawa 2018.
  • Carlson R., Under the Sea Wind: A Naturalist’s Picture of Ocean Life, Simon & Schuster 1941.
  • Jue M., Blue Media. Thinking Through Sea Waters, Duke University Press, 2020.
  • Kardaś A., Książka o wodzie, Państwowe Wydawnictwo Naukowe, Warszawa 2019.
  • Neimanis A., The Bodies of the Water: Posthuman Feminist Fenomenology, Bloomsbury Academic London, 2017.
  • Welzer H., Wojny klimatyczne. Za co będziemy zabijać w XXI wieku?, Wydawnictwo Krytyki Politycznej, Warszawa 2010.

Deadline: February 15, 2021