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A Comparative Assessment of Transformations to Agrarian Livelihoods in the Ayeyarwady, Ganges and Mekong Deltas


Call for papers

The Ayeyarwady, Ganges and Mekong are the three great rivers of South/Southeast Asia. The human landscapes of these three river deltas reflect millennia of agricultural efforts working their rich soils and ample water availability. They are characterised by high population densities and intensive agriculture.
During recent decades, all three deltas have experienced considerable change. This has included changes within agricultural practices (e.g., high-yield hybrid crop varieties), new agricultural investment (e.g., mechanisation), restructured labour geographies (displacement of agricultural work by technology, new migration patterns and non-farm labour arrangements), new political ecologies in how people relate to their environments (in contexts of resource depletion; hazard risk and climate change), and new transport and communication infrastructures that have transformed the ways in which delta populations connect to extra-regional actors.
These processes have occurred in different ways with the Ayeyarwady, Ganges and Mekong deltas, reflecting the ways that people have interacted with varying physical geographies in diverse national geopolitical contexts. The specific aim of this workshop is to examine comparisons and contrasts in the human environments of these three deltas, with a view to generate cross-deltaic insights that can remain invisible within the perspective of separate studies.

The workshop will take the form of a two-day event involving paper presentations built around generous time for discussion and interaction. Papers will have discussants from a different delta region, encouraging comparative perspectives.
The workshop will feature a keynote and closing address from Professor Jonathan Rigg, National University of Singapore.
Numbers will be restricted to approx. 10-15 papers. A specific aim will be to discuss the prospect for papers to be submitted to a Special Issue of a leading journal in either Geography or Development Studies.
Key dates
The workshop will be held on 5-6 April 2018 at the University of Cologne, Institute of Geography and is co-funded by the Global South Studies Centre, Cologne.

Titles and abstracts need to be sent to the organisers by 22 December 2017 for consideration.