Tuesday, March 5, 2019 - 12:00pm
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Room 521, Gund Hall, 42-58 Quincy St., Cambridge

Law & Culture: Conversation about Water

The Harvard Graduate School of Design hosts Rhett Larson, Morrison Fellow in Water Law; Associate Professor, Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law Arizona State University, and Dilip Da Cunha, Co-Director, Risk and Resilience Master in Design Studies at the Graduate School of Design, Harvard University; Adjunct Professor at the GSAPP, Columbia University.

Rhett Larson, lawyer and professor of domestic and international water law and policy will address the complicated technical and social question of where a river begins and ends by asking “The Big Dam Question: How Law Defines a River.” Law often defines the boundaries of a river, for purposes of property ownership, habitat protection, and resource development. These definitional laws drive how rivers are engineered to begin and to end. Dilip Da Cunha, author of "The Invention of Rivers" sees rivers not as a definition of law but rather as a consequence of design efforts to control the place of wetness by asking “The Bigger Dam Question: Why People Designed the River.” Wetness is everywhere but acts of design have created rivers, a subject of science, a spine of civilization, an anchor for "riparian" ecologies, a being with rights, and an infrastructure that can be made to serve land.

Contact Name: 

Jeffrey Fitton

Harvard University
Center for the Environment

Address: 26 Oxford Street, 4th Floor, Cambridge
Phone: (617) 495-0368

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