For some years now, the post-monsoon season brings narratives of environmental doom to conversations occurring in drawing rooms and chai stalls across the city of Delhi. The smog that envelopes the city and makes breathing a difficult activity forces a flurry of activity and finger-pointing. Farmers and fossil fuels, construction and climate change, policy and profligacy, no one is spared. Issues like air pollution demonstrate inescapably that environmental concerns are simultaneously social, technical and political in nature. For policymakers and practitioners, the value of questioning the divide between natural and social sciences, between the ontological realms of nature and culture has become more apparent than ever. Within academic disciplines, these questions have been raised for at least half a century since C.P. Snow’s publication of The Two Cultures. Calls for collaboration across knowledge silos to study multidimensional environmental issues have gained credence steadily in the last thirty years. This can be seen in the emergence of sub-disciplines within traditional disciplines, like environmental history, as well as new areas like conservation biology and science and technology studies.
Human Ecology is an eclectic field of research within this tradition of interdisciplinary knowledge endeavours. Research and teaching at the School of Human Ecology (SHE) brings together philosophical frameworks, methodologies and toolkits from natural and social science disciplines to understand interactions between environment and society. There is a distinctive emphasis on studying issues at smaller spatial scales and focusing on complexity and causality in the intertwined lives of humans and other species. Scholars at SHE are inclined towards the worm’s-eye view while studying ‘big questions’ of justice, well-being and sustainability in local, empirical contexts. Human and nonhuman agencies are explored in ecological and social transformations in South Asia, in the present as well as in the past.
The Entangled Natures conference invites scholars and students who are engaged in research on such issues that are of interest to Human Ecology. The five conference panels reflect thematic areas of research within SHE. They discuss geographies that are marginal to mainstream concerns, such as India’s islands and high-altitude rangelands, and heterodox approaches to studying classic themes, such as cities, agriculture and environmental governance. Contributions are invited from scholars and early career researchers working on these themes, as elaborated in the panel abstracts.
Panel 1: Agriculture in the Anthropocene
Panel 2: Hybridity, Power and Culture in Environmental Governance
Panel 3: Nature and the City
Panel 4: Tracing Continuities and Change in Pastoral Systems
Panel 5: Islands in the Indian Ocean
For details regarding panels and submission guidelines, please visit: https://www.entanglednatures.com/call-for-abstracts
For enquiries, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org