In the Pipeline: New Directions in Cultural Research on Water

NatureCultures Project

Symposium — 19 - 20 July, 2007

Visit the In the Pipeline website


With drought and climate instability putting pressure on current and future water supplies, there have been many calls for change in water use cultures. Yet almost all Australian research on water users has investigated the attitudes and socio-demographic characteristics of individuals, not cultures, usually with a view to changing or predicting individual behaviour.

Meanwhile, unknown numbers of researchers in Australia and overseas are working on projects investigating water use and water-related issues from cultural or sociotechnical perspectives, and/or with strong concerns for cultural dimensions of water practices, ownership, technologies, uses and values.

These researchers can be found in government and non-government organisations, and across a variety of academic centres and departments, ranging from media, communication and cultural studies; history, anthropology and sociology; through to departments of rural studies and geography or geo-spatial studies, as well as engineering and earth sciences. Some of them are postgraduates and early career researchers keen to make contact with others to discuss methodologies.

IN THE PIPELINE will bring together for the first time these dispersed researchers in a unique interdisciplinary gathering. Convened by the Centre for Cultural Research and by the ‘naturecultures’ project within the ARC Cultural Research Network, the Symposium will be held at the Parramatta Campus of the University of Western Sydney on Thursday July 19 and Friday July 20, 2007. The program will include a half-day workshop on methods and approaches.

The Symposium aims to explore such questions as:

Keynote Address: The dynamics and hydraulics of everyday life, by Elizabeth Shove, Reader, Dept of Sociology, Lancaster University, author of Comfort, Cleanliness + Convenience , who will explore the practical and theoretical implications of focusing not on water but on the services and practices it makes possible.

For more details contact:

Download registration form here [MS Word 69kb]