The Institute for Advanced Study at the University of Minnesota, under the direction of Jennifer Gunn, is pleased to report on the progress of “Grasping Water: Rivers and Human Systems in China, Africa and North America,” the first in a series of Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation/CCHI funded summer institutes. The institute will take place June 13-17, 2016, on the campus of the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, a campus that is bisected by the Mississippi river, and will be directed by historians Ann Waltner (University of Minnesota) and Ruth Mostern (University of California-Merced).
The structure of the institute will be a series of roundtables on topics such as “Ideologies and Rationales,” “Geographies and Hydrologies,” and “Engineers and Empire Builders.” We will host a workshop on spatial humanities and will conclude with a session entitled “Next Steps,” in which we will map out plans for devising online curricula which will be useful for people teaching about rivers in any of the geographical contexts. We’ll also have a film night and a photography exhibit.
Participants and roundtable leaders will be expected to read a (short) series of texts that will give us a common ground for the workshop and a basis for thinking comparatively. The institute organizers are currently selecting the participants from more than 70 applicants. About one third of the applicants are primarily interested in China, one-third in Africa, and one-third in North America. More detail about the institute can be found at http://ias.umn.edu/ias-projects/grasping-water/.