Sign up for our Email Newsletter Berghahn Books Logo

berghahn New York · Oxford

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Youtube
  • Instagram
Delta Life: Exploring Dynamic Environments where Rivers Meet the Sea

View Table of Contents

Volume 28

Environmental Anthropology and Ethnobiology

Of Related Interest

Email Newsletters

Sign up for our email newsletters to get customized updates on new Berghahn publications.

Click here to select your preferences

Delta Life

Exploring Dynamic Environments where Rivers Meet the Sea

Edited by Franz Krause and Mark Harris

262 pages, 14 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-80073-124-0 $120.00/£89.00 Hb Not Yet Published (June 2021)

eISBN 978-1-80073-125-7 eBook Not Yet Published

Hb View cartYour country: United States - Click here to remove geolocation   Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


“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 the Head of the School of Philosophical, Anthropological and Film Studies 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


List of Figures

Introduction: Life at Water’s Edge
Franz Krause and Mark Harris

Chapter 1. Displacing the Delta: Notes on the Anthropology of the Earth’s Physical Features
Tanya Richardson

Chapter 2. The Global Swamp. Or, the Amphibious as a Figure of Heterotopia
Lukas Ley

Chapter 3. Stagnation: Waterflows and the Politics of Stranded Matter in La Mojana, Colombia
Alejandro Camargo

Chapter 4. Economy, Identity and Hydrology: Toward a Holistic Approach to Intersecting Volatilities in the Mackenzie Delta, Canada
Franz Krause

Chapter 5. ‘This Tide Will Be a Good Tide’: On Movement, Anticipative Waiting and Tricking on the Islands of the Parnaíba Delta, Brazil
Nora Horisberger

Chapter 6. Gleaning Time: Practice, Pause and Anticipation in the Sine-Saloum Delta, Senegal
Sandro Simon

Chapter 7. Lived Histories of Flows and Sediments in a Turkish Delta
Catarina Scaramelli

Chapter 8. Available, Yet Unavailable: Anchoring Land in the Ayeyarwady Delta, Myanmar
Benoit Ivars

Conclusion: Confluences and Distributaries in Delta Life
Franz Krause and Mark Harris


Back to Top