South Asia and the Environmental Legacies of Modernization

deadline for submissions: 
July 31, 2017
full name / name of organization: 
Joya John
contact email: 


This CFP begins from the assumption that modernity and modernization have had deeply contested legacies in the Global South.  While postcolonial frames have elaborated several rich possibilities to engage with these legacies, we are interested in papers that interrogate and/or extend postcolonial frameworks for thinking about modernization and modernity from the perspective of environmental and ecological questions.


Papers can include but are not limited to some of the following themes.

  • Nationalist visions of modernization through key figures and thinkers in South Asia and their environmental legacies today.

  • Identify particular historic conjunctures at which environment and ideas of good governance and citizenship might dovetail or be at complete odds with each other.  

  • Present a fine-grained analysis of particular instances of environmental jurisprudence or cases of environmental harm. How has a  language of rights been inflected by discussions of environmental and ecological well being?

  • How have different regimes of health, welfare, injury, and understandings of the body impacted environmental discourses and been shaped by various kinds of environmental harm (such as toxicity and nuclear radiation) in turn?

  • The emergence of indigeneity as flashpoint in movements of environmental justice.

  • What directions are opened up by the emergence of new domains of juridical intervention into nonhuman elements like rivers, wildlife or the commons of atmosphere/ozone, clean air, and water?

  • How have literary and cultural imaginaries represented these new matters of concern: whether extinction, pollution and waste?

Please submit paper abstracts to Joya John or Rebecca Oh by July 30th, 2017. We look forward to your contributions. Accepted panelists will have to cover the cost of their travel and accommodation for the conference