Ecology of Grief: Reading Pain, Memory and Anthropocene in the Himalayas. Environmental Lunchtime Discussion

This talk by Dr. Rahul Ranjan, political anthropologist at the Oslo Metropolitan University, presents a case study of 'climatic event' in Uttarakhand, India, to demonstrate how aggressive development projects such as dams are increasing the frequency of disaster.

Rescue workers with heavy machinery are trying to clear a blocked tunnel

Rescue workers are trying to clear a blocked tunnel in Uttarakhand. Source: BBC. (2021, 8th of February.).

While increasing focus on the study of climate change in this region, especially Uttarakhand, has brought considerable attention in the popular media and emphasises the role of climate change, there remains considerable focus only on solution-driven approaches and development-based projects. However, these valuable approaches render the emotive and affective reading of climatic events as an appendix to the explanation. The paper delineates a new perspective on the idea of “environmental grief” to approach two inter-related interests. First, it situates the emergent category of Anthropocene, which is featured through climate change to understand the climatic event in the Himalayas. Second, it explores the possibilities of legal endeavours such as rights of rivers and glaciers as a way of thinking about climate change. The case study situates the environmental grief within the broader discussion of law, non-human and the Anthropocene.

About the presenter

Doctor Rahul Ranjan is a political Anthropologist and holds a postdoc position based at the International Studies department, OsloMet. His postdoc project looks at the Rights of Rivers, within which he has a proposal on the religious and political ecology of the Ganges in India. He is interested in political ecology, memory studies, postcolonialism and environmental humanities. He is finishing his first manuscript on the memory politics of anticolonial struggles amongst Adivasi (Indigenous peoples) in India.

About the event series

The OSEH Environmental Lunchtime Discussion series consists of short, 15 minute presentations by invited guests, followed by a discussion. We invite speakers from a wide variety of fields, both academic and beyond. The presentations are accessible and are aimed at anyone with an interest in environmental issues. All are welcome.

Tags: OSEH, HF, Environmental Humanities, Global South, Climate Change
Published Aug. 12, 2021 1:58 PM - Last modified Apr. 21, 2022 11:19 AM