Water is a symbol of life, wisdom, fertility, purity, and death. Water also sustains and nourishes, irrigates our crops, keeps us clean and healthy, and contributes to our energy needs. But a strain has been put on our water resources as increased energy demands combine with the effects of climate change to create a treacherous environment. Individuals and communities around the globe increasingly face droughts, floods, water pollution, water scarcity, and even water wars. We tend to address and solve these concerns through scientific and technological innovations, but social and cultural analyses and solutions are needed as well. In this edited collection, contributors tackle current water issues in the era of climate change using a wide variety of recent literature and film. At its core, Make Waves: Water in Contemporary Literature and Film (University of Nevada Press) demonstrates that water is an immense reservoir of artistic potential and an agent of historical and cultural exchange. Creating familiar and relatable contexts for water dilemmas, authors and directors of contemporary literary texts and films present compelling stories of our relationships to water, water health, ecosystems, and conservation. They also explore how global water problems affect local communities around the world and intersect with social and cultural aspects such as health, citizenship, class, gender, race, and ethnicity. This transformative work highlights the cultural significance of water—the source of life and a powerful symbol in numerous cultures. It also raises awareness about global water debates and crises.
Paula Farca earned her PhD in English Literature from Oklahoma State University. Her research and teaching interests focus on: contemporary literature (mainly indigenous and women’s literature) and environmental humanities. In addition to three textbooks on writing, Paula has published Identity in Place: Contemporary Indigenous Fiction by Women Writers in the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand (2011) and edited Energy in Literature: Essays on Energy and Its Social and Environmental Implications in Twentieth and Twenty-First Century Literary Texts (2015). Her latest edited book, Make Waves: Water in Contemporary Literature and Film was published in 2019 with University of Nevada Press. Paula has been teaching literature and writing at Colorado School of Mines since 2008.