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PLaCE Visiting Speaker Series 2012 -13 : Owain Jones

Toward narrative as method for non-representational accounts of flooding, other water issues and community
A recording of Owain Jones talk is currently unavailable

PLaCE/LAND2 Speaker Series 2012-2013
Thursday 23rd May 2013

Toward narrative as method for non-representational accounts of flooding, other water issues and community

This talk draws upon Owain’s recently completed Arts and Humanities Research Council Connected Communities Connected Communities project entitled
'Re-thinking and re-connecting communities with and through water issues: situated (place-time) and therapeutic narratives'. It also draws upon other water related research Owain is conducting on flood and communities for the Economic and Social Research Council and on tidal landscapes for the Arts and Humanities Research Council - The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) Humanities Research Networking and Exchange Scheme.

Owain will be discussing the need for - and growing trend of – considering communities in ways which recognise their embeddedness in landscapes/places which are formed of ecological communities, material actors, processes and agencies. Re-envisioning communities in this way asks a series of questions about the connectivities, disconnectivities and conflicts within and between communities be they topographically (place) based and/or topologically (networked, interest) based. Flooding (and other ‘single issue’ foci in sustainability/resilience/transition studies) should be considered with other interdependent socio-ecological issues. Flooding, when seen in wider/alternative cultural and ecological frameworks, can be seen more positively as a process with cultural, ecological and economic benefits if planned for appropriately.

Arts and humanities (a&h) led methods can play key roles in multiple ‘negotiations’ within and between community, science, policy, and biophysical processes. Narrative based approaches are emerging to address a range of eco-social conflicts and challenges facing communities and governance delivered policy. Further development of situated, therapeutic and digital narratives offer considerable potential in extending the above.

Dr Owain Jones is Reader in cultural geography: landscape, place and environment; Countryside and Communities Research Institute.

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