Crossroads 2016 has an exciting line up

Amita Baviskar

Amita Baviskar is Professor of Sociology at the Institute of Economic Growth, Delhi.  Her research focuses on the cultural politics of environment and development.  Her first book In the Belly of the River: Tribal Conflicts over Development in the Narmada Valley (Oxford University Press) discussed the struggle for survival by adivasis in central India against a large dam.  Her subsequent work further explores the themes of resource rights, subaltern resistance and cultural identity.  More recently, she has focused on urban environmental politics, especially bourgeois environmentalism and spatial restructuring in the context of economic liberalization in Delhi.  Her latest research examines changing food practices in western India in relation to the transformation of agrarian environments.  Amita Baviskar has edited Waterlines: The Penguin Book of River Writings (Penguin India); Waterscapes: The Cultural Politics of a Natural Resource (Permanent Black); Contested Grounds: Essays on Nature, Culture and Power (Oxford University Press); and Elite and Everyman: The Cultural Politics of the Indian Middle Classes (with Raka Ray, Routledge).  She has taught at the University of Delhi, and has been a visiting scholar at Stanford, Cornell, Yale, SciencesPo and the University of California at Berkeley.  She was awarded the 2005 Malcolm Adiseshiah Award for Distinguished Contributions to Development Studies, the 2008 VKRV Rao Prize for Social Science Research, and the 2010 Infosys Prize for Social Sciences.

Crossroads 2016 has an exciting line up

“Which Humans?: The Anthropocene and its Publics”

Viewing environmental politics through the lens of the Anthropocene colours understanding in consequential ways.  It foregrounds the non-human and brings into focus the entangled past and present of socio-nature.  At the same time, it invests the future of this tangled relationship with a sense of imminent doom.  Apocalyptic visions of the Anthropocene loom over struggles for environmental justice, dwarfing their seemingly mundane concerns.  What are the discursive effects of the Anthropocene concept as it travels from climate science into the wider world of environment-development action?  How does it engender new ways of thinking and acting?  Which ideas and actors are legitimized, and which are excluded?  I shall illustrate my talk with examples from the Indian subcontinent.


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