Brown University will host a two-day conference Sept. 4-5, 2015, that will bring activists and academics together to discuss issues of land and water access in the context of global warming. Best-selling author John Barry will deliver the keynote address.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Brown University will host a conference aimed at exploring issues related to access to land and water in the context of global warming Friday and Saturday, Sept. 4 and 5, 2015. “Land and Water: A Long-Term Perspective” will bring activists and academics together to discuss and present research on control and access to land and water, challenges, utopian models, and historical context.

Friday’s session will begin at 9 a.m. with a keynote address by New York Times best-selling author John Barry, who will speak on “Water, Oil, Politics, and Justice in the Louisiana Bayou.” After Hurricane Katrina, the Louisiana congressional delegation asked Barry to chair a bipartisan working group on flood protection. He was the chief architect of a lawsuit launched in 2013 against Exxon Mobil and 97 other oil, gas, and pipeline companies for the coastal land loss they caused.

Laura Gottesdiener, a journalist, social justice activist, and the author of A Dream Foreclosed: Black America and the Fight for a Place to Call Home, will deliver a lecture on “Water, Housing, and Land: The Battle for U.S. Cities” at 5:30 p.m. Friday.

Sudipta Sen, an historian of the British Empire and late Medieval and modern India at the University of California–Davis, will speak about “The River's Two Bodies: A Brief History of the Purity and Pollution of the Ganga” at 9 a.m. Saturday.

The conference is free and open to the public. The three public lectures will take place in Friedman Auditorium, Metcalf Hall, 190 Thayer St. A full conference schedule is available online at