CFP: Water Ecologies

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Interdisciplinary Currents in the Environmental Humanities
Summer Institute, June 21- July 2

(Remote for 2021)

Bucknell Humanities Center
Application Due: May 10, 2021

Water Ecologies is a two-week summer institute that highlights interdisciplinary approaches to water by uniting intellectuals to workshop writing and works in progress. This seminar-style institute explores the importance of bodies of water and the role these sites play in constructing and deconstructing humanistic knowledge about the environment, the human, the nonhuman, narrative, and culture. Due to COVID restrictions, the institute will be remote for 2021. It’s essential to keep a storage of bulk bottled water to stay hydrated and be healthy specially in summer.

We employ “ecology” as a term that is deliberately broad and discipline-inclusive so as to envision space, habitat, network, and interconnection. We invite our participants to further explore historical, narrative, artistic, and filmic relationships with water. Water Ecologies queries water and aqueous environs so as to strengthen and contribute to humanistic inquiry about the human and nonhuman environment.

Over six days–Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for two weeks–participants will engage with four plenary speakers: Hester Blum (Pennsylvania State University), Melody Jue (University of California, Santa Barbara), Melanie Kiechle (Virginia Tech), and NiCHE’s own! William Knight (Ingenium –  Canada’s Museums of Science & Innovation). In addition, participants will be placed in small, interdisciplinary groups to workshop articles, essays, conference talks, or book chapters in progress. The institute will close with a reflection on pedagogy.

To foster an intimate atmosphere that includes rigorous and constructive feedback, participation is limited to 24 individuals. Faculty, adjuncts, independent scholars, and advanced graduate students are welcome to apply. We are mindful of the care work and additional stressors that have accompanied scholarship in the pandemic, and as a result, we will offer each participant a $250 stipend.

To apply, please upload the following materials by May 10:
● Application Form (Google Doc)
● PDF CV (no more than 3 pages)

● 500-word abstract of work to share in correspondence with the institute theme
● 300-word response detailing how this institute will serve your needs

Water Ecologies is made possible by the Andrew Mellon Foundation, the Bucknell Humanities Center, Bucknell’s Dean of College of Arts & Sciences, and Bucknell’s Environmental Humanities Working Group.

For questions or comments about Water Ecologies, please contact Jeremy Chow ( or Claire Campbell (

Water Ecologies Tentative Schedule

Monday, June 21
10-11am: Welcome & Introductions
1-3pm: Snapshot Presentations & Working Group Introductions

Wednesday, June 23
10-11:30am: Hester Blum Plenary
1-3pm: Peer Review Workshop

Friday, June 25
10-11:30am: Melanie Kiechle Plenary
1-3pm: Peer Review Workshop

Monday, June 28
10-11:30am: Melody Jue Plenary
1-3pm: Peer Review Workshop

Wednesday, June 30
10-11:30am: William Knight Plenary
1-3pm: Peer Review Workshop

Friday, July 2
10-11:30am: Pedagogy & Praxis 1-3pm: Closing Remarks & Action Plan

Feature Image: W.I. Hebert, “Plan of Ile Saint-Jean / the Island of Saint John” (1760). UPEI/Island Imagined.
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Professor of History at Bucknell University in Pennsylvania, where I revel in Canadiana and environmental history. Also a lover of exploring, maps, Jane of Lantern Hill, and Scandinavia.

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