Indigeneity and environmentalism in the Himalayas

In this episode, we discuss the development of infrastructure and the Anthropocene in the Himalayas with a key focus on the impact on Indigenous peoples and their activism.

  • Himalayas and the approach of the Indian State
  • Infrastructure development – the case of hydro project in Sikkim
  • Local participation, Indigenous peoples and the politics of knowledge

Our guest Dr Mabel Denzin Gergan is a human geographer and her research focuses on postcolonial environmentalism, Tribal/Indigenous theorization, anti-colonial politics, and race and ethnicity in South Asia. She holds a PhD from the Department of Geography at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA and is currently an Assistant Professor of Asian Studies at  Vanderbilt University, Tennessee, USA. Born in Sikkim, India, she has lived and worked extensively in the Eastern (Sikkim) and Western (Uttarakhand and Ladakh) Himalayas. So far, she has focused on the Indian Himalayan borderlands and the relationship between frontier territories and ‘mainland’ India. More recently, she has collaborated with scholars working on Indigenous politics in North America, focusing on Indigenous youth activism, infrastructure politics, and decolonial futurity. Find her on Twitter.

Our interviewer Dr Rahul Ranjan is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at the OsloMet University, Oslo (Norway). He is working on the project entitled “The Currents and Consequences of Legal Innovations on The Rights of Rivers” funded by the Norwegian Research Council. He was recently awarded the “Research Stay Award” by the Research Council of Norway to conduct study for his project in Uttarakhand, India that contributes to the research on the Rights of River. He is the editor of the upcoming book: “At the crossroads of Rights” published by the Routledge Press, London (due in Spring, 2022). His doctoral thesis is now also converted to a manuscript on “Birsa Munda and the Politics of memory in Jharkhand”. He also held a part-time position as the Social Media Coordinator for the “Human Rights Research Network” (HRRN), London (UK). Prior to coming to London, he read Political Science for Bachelors (Honours with First Class and University Rank Holder) and Master (First Class) at the University of Delhi. He holds an MPhil (Master of Philosophy) with a research dissertation from the Centre for Political Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Find him on Twitter.

Episode notes and references:

Music by Ritesh Prasanna

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