Caroline Druschke: Professor, Department of English and Director of Headwaters Lab
Tamara Dean: author and founder of “Stories from the Flood”
Eric Booth: Associate Scientist and Lecturer at the University of Wisconsin–Madison in the Departments of Agronomy and Civil & Environmental Engineering as well as the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies
As the effects of climate change intensify everywhere, we are constantly looking for strategies to cope with volatile disasters. In 2018, communities across southwestern Wisconsin faced just such a dilemma after devastating floods coursed through the region. From clean-up support to community food pantries and kitchens, people across the area developed creative strategies for recording and narrating their experiences. This work both cultivated community and preserved memories of both the event and the collaborative work that came in its aftermath. Together, scholars and community partners write about this flood recovery work from a feminist perspective in the Fall 2023 issue of Open Rivers, the journal’s second installment focusing on Women & Water. They challenge us to consider: how can we continue to live with floods as a recurrent condition of our changing climate? How does narrating these experiences contribute to climate justice work? Join IAS Thursdays and Open Rivers for a conversation with these contributors as they share their narrative-centered responses to floods and social upheaval and argue that these practices might be understood as part of a feminist response to critical climate justice.
Presented in partnership with Open Rivers: Rethinking Water, Place & Community.
Open Rivers: Rethinking Water, Place & Community is an open-access digital journal of public scholarship jointly produced by the University of Minnesota’s Institute for Advanced Study and University Libraries Publishing. Open Rivers brings together voices and perspectives of academics, community members, and professionals who share concern for our water futures. The journal provides a forum for critical conversations about the interconnections between ecological and social systems. Water is the lens through which we investigate the challenges of climate change, the struggles for environmental justice, and the ways we know and relate to the natural world.
Image Credit: An area of Leon, Wis., shows flooding Aug, 28, 2018 in Monroe County, Wis. Firefighters with the Directorate of Emergency Services Fire Department at Fort McCoy, Wis., helped with rescue operations for the flooding. On Aug. 27 to early Aug. 28, 2018, 5-12 inches of rain fell on several areas of Monroe County, causing flash flooding and stranding residents in flooded areas. Fort McCoy firefighters helped with the rescue of people in the affected areas. (U.S. Army Photo by Scott T. Sturkol, Public Affairs Office, Fort McCoy, Wis.). Courtesy NARA & DVIDS Public Domain Archive.
ABOUT IAS THURSDAYS
IAS Thursdays at the Institute for Advanced Study brings a wide range of ideas, conversations, and viewpoints to the heart of the University of Minnesota. Our events are free and open to the public; IAS Thursdays are designed for scholars from all walks of life.