Nikhil Anand

Grant Type

Post PhD Research Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Pennsylvania, U. of

Grant number

Gr. 9751

Approve Date

October 24, 2018

Project Title

Anand, Dr. Nikhil S., U. of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA - To aid research on 'Urban Sea: Living in Anthropogenic Waters'

Preliminary abstract: Last May, a front-page story in the New York Times began: ‘The risk is clear: Antarctica’s collapse has the potential to inundate coastal cities across the globe (May 17, 2017). As officials in coastal cities respond to the crises precipitated by anthropogenic climate change, they continue to address rising waters through territorial logics, and empty the sea of different (toxic, redemptory and nourishing) qualities. Seas, however, are more than sea levels. They are a situated and entangled location in which citizens, coastal cities and worlds are made. This project attends to different qualities of the urban sea to examine how it is made and made urban. Focusing on the everyday practices of fishers, boat workers, scientists and city officials working in the sea, this research will examine how they make meaning and life with these volatile, ‘liquid archives’ (Lehman 2017). It asks the following questions: What is the urban sea? What kinds of work do city officials do to exile waters from the city, and how do they remain ignorant of the threats of climate change as they do so? And finally, how might an attention to to the practices of fishers and scientists describe how wet cities may be inhabited? In so doing, this research project will provide new ways of theorizing the relation between coastal cities and the seas that they make. By attending to social practices of fishers, scientists and city officials in urban seas, this research might also discover how coastal cities might enter into a different relationship with seas in in a climate-changed future.