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In Unquiet Waters: Environmental, Knowledge and Justice


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Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs 

South Asia Center presents

In Unquiet Waters: Towards an Anthropology of Environmental Knowledge and Justice

The inhabitants of rural North Bihar, India, a place known for its perennial floods, live among engorged rivers, catastrophic inundations, waterlogged fields, and toxic drinking water, problems whose severity has been dramatically worsening in the last three decades. How do people come to terms with water that is as life-giving as it is life-taking? The people of North Bihar demonstrate, and value, a profound knowledge of their fluvial morphology. They seem, however, not to act on such knowledge nor to transmit it to their children, even when, and more subtly because, they aspire to improve their life and to escape the social inequalities from which they suffer. Talking about how inequalities matter in dealing with the changing world around us has the goal of putting serious decolonizing pressure on the quasi-mystical concept of environmental knowledge, thus showing its heuristic potential for pursuing environmental justice and adaptation. 

Luisa Cortesi

Assistant Professor 

International Institute of Social Studies

Burg. Oudlaan 50, Rotterdam

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This talk is part of the Sustainable South Asia Initiative. It is co-sponsored by the Central New York Humanities Corridor from an award by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

For more information please contact, Emera Bridger Wilson, or to request accommodation arrangements, please contact Morgan Bicknell,  

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