Talking Beyond Disciplines: Rising Tides and Sea Changes

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University of Rhode Island - Kingston, RI

This interdisciplinary graduate conference invites scholars to turn their attention to transformations, crises, and anxieties crashing at our (real and metaphorical) shores.

The urgency propelled by climate science stirs up consciousness, fears, and controversies about the future of our ecosystems, economies, policies, and cultures. The threat of rising tides—whether a shift in our natural environment, technological advancement, or paradigm shifts—increasingly call for collaborations among scholars, professionals, stakeholders, advocates, and citizens. Our responses invite opportunities for conversations across disciplines that produce value, both for the climate crisis at hand as well as for the re-invention and renewal of scholarship in the twenty-first century. Interdisciplinarity creates a unique opportunity for us to begin to re-imagine the shape and function of collaboration, an opportunity to push the boundaries. Talking Beyond Disciplines: Rising Tides and Sea Changes invites graduate students from all disciplines to share their scholarly research and work that examines literal sea change or figurative sea change. We ask:

* How do we respond to transformations and changes, tensions and resistance, with new ways of communicating and narrating instabilities?
* What is the constructive or destructive potential of fluidity and permeable borders in academia or the world?
* How do we protect shorelines (in academic disciplines or the natural environment) while also building bridges and allowing voices from the margins to join the conversation?
* How can tensions between fundamentalisms and hermeneutic approaches move us toward productive responses to exigencies in our environment or in academe?
* How can we best generate profound and effective collaborative responses to global crises?

We invite graduate students to submit proposals that attend to these and other questions. STEM fields, humanities, social sciences, all disciplines are welcome. Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

• adaptation / revision / re-inscriptions
• border-crossing / immigration /port(al)s
• erosion / collisions / transgressions
• exploration / data / mining
• intersections / convergences / unions
• isolation / globalization / globality
• mapping / geocoding / navigation
• maritime narratives / nature writing / documentaries
• materials / materiality / texture
• mobility / blockades / breaches
• modeling / visualizations / modalities
• narrative / translations / transactions
• noise / frequency / rhythms
• ontology / origins / apocalypse
• politics / policy / piracy
• rhetorics of space / place / time
• safety / risk assessment / disaster plans
• surges / tidal waves / ruptures
• sustainability / consumption /nutrition
• water / fluidity / coastal ecologies

Submission Directions: We are accepting submissions for individual papers, panel proposals, poster presentations, creative works, and Pecha Kucha-style roundtables. Please submit all abstracts and proposals of 250–300 words, as well as the required contact and biographical information, via our website at by clicking on the Submit Abstract link. Deadline for receipt of proposals is Friday, February 15, 2013. Applicants will be notified of their acceptance by Friday, March 1. Direct all questions regarding submissions and conference details to Please visit our website at for more information.