14-16 September 2017 in Adelaide | Interdisciplinary Conference | H2O: Life & Death

The EU Centre for Global Affairs invites you to an interdisciplinary conference around the theme of WATER

H2O: Life & Death

The Conference is organised by the J. M. Coetzee Centre for Creative Practice, The University of Adelaide and supported by the EU Centre for Global Affairs.

Waters are contested entities at the centre of most scientific discussions about sustainability. Discourse around water management underlines both the serious absence and devastating overabundance of water: rising sea levels compete against desertification; hurricanes and floods follow periods of prolonged drought. As we increasingly pollute, canalise and desalinate waters, the ambiguous nature of our relationship with these entities becomes visible. From the paradisiac and pristine scenery of holiday postcards through to the devastated landscapes of post-tsunami news reports, images of waters surround us. And while we continue to damage what most sustains us, collective precarity grows. It is therefore unsurprising that shifting our understanding, and subsequent use, of water has been described as one of the biggest – and most pressing – challenges of our time.

This conference aims to question and potentially re-imagine our cultural construction and representation of waters by asking: how can we explore and re-make what waters mean to us? We are interested in examining water as a simultaneously scientific and symbolic, material and imaginary, practical and aesthetic medium within lived communities.

Download the full Conference programme HERE.


As part of the Conference Dr Jenny Newell (Australian Museum) will give a FREE public lecture entitled Water Thinking: Caring for Oceans and Sharing Connections in a Time of Climate Crisis. For more information on this event, please see the Event flyer HERE.

Date: Thursday 14 September 2017

Time: 5:45pm – 7pm followed by a wine reception

Venue: Hartley Concert Room, Hartley Building, The University of Adelaide, North Terrace Campus (Map)

RSVP: Register Here


Another Conference public event will take place next day. Conference delegates and and the general public are invited to film screenings and a musical performance about the role of waters in shaping European identity. For further information, please see the Event flyer HERE.

Date: Friday 15 September 2017

Time: 5pm start followed by a wine reception

Venue: Hartley Concert Room, Hartley Building, The University of Adelaide, North Terrace Campus (Map)

RSVP: Register Here


In collaboration with:


The J. M. Coetzee Centre for Creative Practice
Where inspiration, invention and ideas come together

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