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GeoHumanities Publications: Monsoon Assemblages Special Forum

MONASS is pleased to announce that the following two publications prepared for a Monsoon Assemblages Special Forum in GeoHumanities are now available online:

Bremner, L. (2020). ‘Sedimentary Ways.’ Online Open Access here:

The abstract of this paper reads as follows:

This paper is a thought experiment to attune to the geo-physical and geo-political materialities of sediment, a terra-aqueous substance produced when the earth’s continental surfaces intra-act with the atmosphere and are chemically transformed by it. The paper is framed by questions of how to engage more closely with the dynamics of earth systems and of how social and political agency emerges alongside earth forces. Sediment is important to such questions because it is the mechanism by which the earth recycles itself and is thick with the climatological and geological histories that have conditioned the possibility of life on the planet. While acknowledging the import of Deleuze and Guattari’s metaphysics to such questions, the paper takes a material approach to them. It is based on field work in Bangladesh, but also traverses a range of scientific, historical and theoretical literature. It is arranged in four sections that loosely correspond to the sedimentary cycle. It follows sediment from chemical processes on rock surfaces in the Himalayas, to its lively travels in monsoonal rivers across flood plains to its eventual deposition and subterranean diagenesis. In each section, the paper discusses the material processes at work, their socio-political enmeshments and the theoretical implications of these intraactions. The paper concludes that sediment serves as a reminder not only of close entanglements of geophysical and geo-political becomings, but also of the profound indifference of earth systems to human affairs, and asks what this might mean for the re-imagination of politics.

Cullen, B. (2020). ‘Intuiting a Monsoonal Ethnography in Three Bay of Bengal Cities.’ Online Open Access here:

The abstract of this paper reads as follows:

This visual essay offers an exploration of monsoonal materiality and agency in the urban environments of three cities situated around the Bay of Bengal: Chennai, Dhaka and Yangon. The text and images emerge from a research project exploring intersections between changing monsoon climates and rapid urbanisation in South Asia. Multi-modal, more-than-human ethnography has been employed during the course of research to explore how the lively materiality of the monsoon is entangled within urban lived environments. The essay outlines the process of intuiting a monsoonal ethnography and conveys the power of immersive field experience. By collecting and curating an assemblage of visual material and fieldnotes, this piece seeks to evoke the materiality and agency of the monsoon, itself a complex assemblage that manifests in different ways in different places. The juxtaposition of image and text conveys the generative and multifaceted agency of the monsoon and the urban environments it becomes enmeshed within.

The publications are open access and available to download from the links provided.