Fortney Farm in Soldiers Grove. Image courtesy of Tim Hundt

Storying the Floods: Experiments in Feminist Flood Futures

Life in Wisconsin’s Kickapoo River and Coon Creek watersheds, the focus of our Driftless work, has been punctuated by major floods in 2007, 2008, 2016, 2017, and the worst in recorded history in 2018. As flooding becomes more frequent and more severe across these watersheds, community members are working together to re-imagine ways to live well together with worsening floods.

Defensoras and allies on retreat in Celendín. Image courtesy of Natalia Guzmán Solano.

Formless Like Water: Defensoras and the Work of Water Protection

In this article, I write about defensoras del agua y medio ambiente, water and environmental defenders: the women participating in an anti-extractivist struggle in northern Peru, defending water against the expansion of a large-scale mining operation in Celendín’s headwaters which mobilized a social movement against state and corporate forces attempting to expand the Yanacocha mine to nearby territory.

Women working at a laundry site at Ch'onggye Stream, circa 1930s.

Women and Urban Waterways in Korean Modernist Literature

Pak T’ae-wŏn’s 1938 modernist novel Scenes from Ch’ŏnggye Stream (Ch’ŏnbyŏn p’unggyŏng, 천변풍경) is one thought-provoking example of these human-environment relationships in literature.  Scenes from Ch’ŏnggye Stream provides an intimate portrayal of ordinary life for lower-class Koreans living along the Ch’ŏnggye Stream in a rapidly urbanizing and modernizing 1930s Seoul under Japanese occupation; it reveals how environmental, social, and political factors can mingle together to influence urban river environments and culture.

Swimming pool at AUT Millenium training center, Aukland, New Zealand. Image by Artem Verbo on Unsplash.

Washed Up

Every summer in my childhood my parents took me and my sister to beaches in Maine, mountain lakes in our home state of New Hampshire, and our uncle’s pool in Massachusetts just over the New Hampshire-Massachusetts border. Once the last towel was unloaded from the car, we’d rip off the clothing covering our bathing suits and race to water as if it was simply a mirage, wavering and threatening to disappear.

A view of San Francisco from the bay from the water with just us and the seals. Image courtesy of Norman Hantzsche.

Open Water

…Every time I’ve entered the open water I’ve done so filled with some degree of fear. That being said, each time I’ve exited, I’ve felt exhilarated and maybe even a few millimeters further from my fear of swimming (and drowning) in open water. This is why I’ve returned for more.