Symposium on Sea-Level Change in Urban Life

Translating Sea-Level Change in Urban Life: Policies, Practices and their Intersections in Island Southeast Asia (A Roundtable Symposium)

Type: Symposium
Date: May 28, 2018 to May 29, 2018
Location: Indonesia
Subject Fields: Environmental History / Studies, Geography, Maritime History / Studies, Southeast Asian History / Studies, Urban History / Studies

An International Roundtable Symposium hosted by the EMERSA project (funded by the DFG´s SPP 1889 Regional Sea Level Change and Society initiative)

The symposium aims to bring together researchers from the social sciences, the humanities and area studies, together with practitioners and policymakers that work across a diverse range of themes related to the lived and experiential aspects of (relative) sea level change in urban Southeast Asia.

Drawing inspiration from the '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 as 'riskscapes.'

The symposium therefore seeks to advance several nascent lines of inquiry by exploring how: a) diversely the amorphous notion of 'sea level change' is interpreted across urban settings; 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.

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’ knowledges, policies, and coastal justice concerns (e.g. in connection to the privatization of coastal spaces, gentrification, and urban displacement);
Living with/out water: everyday discourses and practices that challenge and/or rupture mainstream modes of coastal life (e.g. artificial island reclamation, the refashioning of coastal lifestyles such as amphibious dwelling, ‘sea steading’ etc.);
Futuring the Coastal Metropolis in policy and other socio-ecological and technological innovations

For more refer to:

Abstract submission deadline: March 15, 2018 (please contact us for extensions)
Registration deadline: April 5, 2018
Extended abstract submission (4-5 pages): May 5, 2018

Contact Info:
EMERSA Project (Principal Investigators - Prof. Dr. Anna-Katharina Hornidge & Prof. Dr. Micheal Flitner)

Abstracts to be submitted to:

Dr. Rapti Siriwardane, Leibniz Center for Marine Research ( or;
Dr. Johannes Herbeck, artec Sustainability Research CenterUniversity of Bremen (

Contact Email:

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