The Great Lakes contain one of the world’s most significant shares of fresh water, a resource necessary to almost every human endeavor and one that is fast disappearing. Is the water in the Great Lakes a global resource? Should its use be restricted to the populations on its shores and connected watersheds? What limits should be placed on the extraction rates of private companies? What role should private companies take in updating antiquated water infrastructure? How can local governments and citizen groups balance investment needs and resource protection? Are new local systems of management necessary to safeguard a water system that, however abundant, is shrinking? The way in which one approaches these questions has obvious implications for those whose lives and livelihoods depend on the Great Lakes, but it also matters a great deal on the global scale where eyes are focused on the interstate and international frameworks that govern extraction and management of the Great Lakes. What happens with the fresh water of the Midwest matters not only to those in the region, but also to other parties desirous of access to its waters or looking to this still vital water system as a model.
The April conference will address transborder legal and political frameworks, as well as the ways in which class, culture, and gender influence environmental health and access. Topics include water sharing, toxins, privatization, energy systems, and regionalist approaches.
This conference is sponsored by the UIC Institute for the Humanities and the Institute for Environmental Science and Policy. The project is supported by the Humanities Without Walls consortium, based at the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The Humanities Without Walls consortium is funded by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. (Click here for more info)
Additional information about the event available here.
Click here for the list of represented organizations. Organizer Information:
Rachel Havrelock (English, UIC) Contact Info:
1909 University Hall (MC 162), 601 S. Morgan Street, Chicago, IL 60607 Email: