Urban climates: power, development and environment in South Asia
Funding period: 3 April 2019 – 12 October 2019
Type of funding: Seminar Series
Host institutions: University of Cambridge (UK) and Dartmouth College (New Hampshire, USA)
Date: 3-7 April 2019 (AAG Conference, Washington), 7-8 June 2019 (Cambridge), 11-12 October 2019 (New Hampshire)
Lead organisers: Nida Rehman (University of Cambridge) and Dr. Aparna Parikh (Dartmouth College)
Contact: Nida Rehman
Abstract: In South Asian cities, as with their counterparts in the global North and South, processes of neoliberal urbanization and climate change are bound up in social, environmental, and political contestations, just as they are layered with the sediments of colonial and postcolonial histories. Accordingly, concerns with environmental effects, resources, risks, or conservation are inseparable from the constitution of social identities, forms of citizenship, racial and ethnic divides, processes of militarization or securitization, uneven development, and so on. Future oriented developments for sustainable planning thus necessitate closer attention to messier pasts and presents. In this seminar series, we use climate — in its environmental, political, aesthetic, material, and historical registers — to build a transdisciplinary conversation about the relationships between power, development, and the environment in the South Asian context. In thinking about the climate, we want to foreground the violent and harmful structures, circulations, and afterlives that weight atmospheres, bodies, and landscapes, but also think about how engagement with their materialities, ecologies, and histories might offer latent possibilities for progressive alliances or alternative politics. Our discussions will be structured around three key themes: entanglements (political ecologies, multispecies relationships), liminality (the relationships between the urban and its outsides), and eviscerations (settlement, enclosures, erasures).