Institute at Brown for Environment and Society

Samia Cohen

American Studies
Pronouns They/Them


Samiah's dissertation, titled Watershed Metropolis: the Providence River and Its Lifeworlds, narrates the ongoing reconstitution of places where water used to be: sites that have been dammed, filled, graded, capped, and paved in the name of progress and growth. The geographical focus is Providence, Rhode Island, a small but old and densely built city at the head of Narragansett Bay in the ancestral homelands of the Narragansett people. Each chapter centers a different site or series of historically interconnected sites within the city and the role of governments in turning each of them, for different reasons and at different times, from wet to dry.