Call for papers « Gender and Water Geographies: New Approaches, Theoretical Frameworks, and Emerging Directions from the Field »

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Call for Papers (deadline October 16th)

Annual Meeting of the American Association of Geographers
Washington, DC, April 3-7, 2019



Ellis A. Adams, Global Studies Institute & Department of Geosciences, Georgia State University

Yaffa Truelove, Department of Geography, University of Colorado Boulder


In recent years, there have been significant interventions and advances in theorizing and analyzing the relationship between gender and water. These emerging directions in the field draw from novel thinking regarding both the socio-technical and socio-natural dimensions of water and its infrastructures, as well as new feminist theorizations that give critical attention to intersectionality, decolonizing knowledge production, emotional political ecologies, and the complex linkages between the everyday practices and performances of the body to wider urban, regional, and global processes.  Bringing these approaches in conversation, scholars have made critical empirical, methodological, and theoretical interventions that advance feminist geographies and feminist political ecologies of water. These include attention to the gendered dimensions of water ontologies, governance, politics and biopolitics (Harriss, 2009; Ahlers and Zwarteveen, 2009); decolonial and intersectional approaches to socio-technical networks (Thompson, 2016; Mollett & Faria, 2013); embodied analyses of water’s infrastructure (Truelove, 2016); as well as further theorizations of the unequal power relations that underlie gendered struggles and suffering for water (Sultana, 2011; O’Reilly, 2010). In addition, recent critical analyses of gender and water policy demonstrate that, despite women often bearing a disproportionate brunt of the water access burden, they have remained largely excluded from decision-making in the water sector. The global push for reforms such as decentralization, gender mainstreaming, and the Millennium and Sustainable Development Goals that emphasize gender equality and women’s empowerment has done little to enhance the participation of women in water governance, or more overtly address the gendered dimensions of water insecurity (Adams et al., 2018; O’Reilly, 2010; Meinzen-Dick and Zwarteveen, 1998; de Moraes and Rocha, 2013; Mandara, Niehof and van der Horst, 2017).


In this session, we solicit papers that bridge scholarly approaches to gender and water, taking up new directions with regard to both feminist approaches and socio-natural and socio-technical analyses of water. Our aim is to foster discussions of emerging scholarship, theoretical interventions, and new directions and possibilities in the field that will open up dialogue and novel avenues for thinking through the geographies of gender and water. We invite conceptual, theoretical, and empirical papers that may address one or more of the following broad themes:


  • New directions in the feminist political ecology of water
  • The gendered dimensions of water politics and biopolitics
  • Critical policy analyses of gender mainstreaming and the Millenium and Sustainable Development Goals
  • Novel approaches to gendered resistance, agency, and citizenship with regard to accessing water in cities
  • Feminist and STS approaches to water’s infrastructure and socio-technical networks
  • Embodied approaches to water insecurity
  • Emotional political ecologies of water and gendered subjectivities
  • Postcolonial and intersectional analyses of water in the global South
  • Feminist approaches to decolonizing knowledge production with regard to water
  • Neoliberalization and gendered participation in water governance
  • Gendered struggles over the right to water and water justice
  • The unequal power relations that underlie contested waterscapes across scales
  • New methodological approaches with regard to fieldwork


Abstracts should be sent to Ellis Adams (eadams23[at] and Yaffa Truelove (yaffa.truelove[at] by October 16th. We will notify authors by or before October 20th.

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