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Delta Life: Exploring Dynamic Environments where Rivers Meet the Sea

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Volume 28

Environmental Anthropology and Ethnobiology

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Delta Life

Exploring Dynamic Environments where Rivers Meet the Sea

Edited by Franz Krause and Mark Harris

Full Text PDF | Full Text ePUB Made available under a CC CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 license with support from Knowledge Unlatched.

262 pages, 14 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-80073-124-0 $135.00/£99.00 / Hb / Published (June 2021)

ISBN  978-1-80073-934-5 $19.95/£15.95 / Pb / Published (May 2023)

View CartYour country: - edit Recommend to your LibraryAvailable in GOBI®


“This volume does more than assemble ethnographic studies of delta inhabitants from around the world. It weaves their experience into a sustained reflection on life in a volatile world of islands, reedbeds, coasts and swamps, a world ever made, unmade and remade, as much by spirits as by people, and as much by states and markets as by the elements of air, earth and water. Here, the lens of the delta affords rare insight into what it means to live downstream.” • Tim Ingold, University of Aberdeen

“Starting from the dynamic instability of river deltas as volatile biosocial entities, the contributors to this pioneering volume jolt us to rethink our ideas about coastal edges and the beings, matter, and practices through which they form and persist.” • Hugh Raffles, The New School

“This is an original book that offers a variety of approaches to conceptualizing, empirically studying, and theorizing deltas as distinct sites of socio-material relations. The authors offer contrasting and complementing approaches that make the volume a useful introduction to the theme.” • Andrea Ballestero, Rice University

“I think that the book is excellent and will make an important contribution to debates in the field.” • Jason Cons, University of Texas at Austin


Proposing a series of innovative steps towards better understanding human lives at the interstices of water and land, this volume includes eight ethnographies from deltas around the world. The book presents ‘delta life’ with intimate descriptions of the predicaments, imaginations and activities of delta inhabitants. Conceptually, the collection develops ‘delta life’ as a metaphor for approaching continual and intersecting sociocultural, economic and material transformations more widely. The book revolves around questions of hydrosociality, volatility, rhythms and scale. It thereby yields insights into people’s lives that conventional, hydrological approaches to deltas cannot provide.

Franz Krause is an anthropologist interested in the role of water in society and culture. He works as Junior Research Group Leader of the DELTA project at the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology and the Global South Studies Center, University of Cologne, Germany.

Mark Harris is Professor of Historical Anthropology at the University of St Andrews, UK. His wider interests include ethnohistory; environmental anthropology; knowledge in and methodology of the social sciences and the practice of teaching and learning.

Subject: Environmental Studies (General)Anthropology (General)Sociology

Delta Life Edited by Franz Krause and Mark Harris is available open access under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) with support from Knowledge Unlatched.

Full Text PDF | Full Text ePUB

OA ISBN: 978-1-80073-416-6


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