Amitav Ghosh – The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable

This new title from Amitav Ghosh, one the world’s finest literary minds looks very interesting. More at U Chicago Press here. I’ve put a series of four lectures by Ghosh below that cover some of the same material.

9780226323039Are we deranged? The acclaimed Indian novelist Amitav Ghosh argues that future generations may well think so. How else to explain our imaginative failure in the face of global warming? In his first major book of nonfiction since In an Antique Land, Ghosh examines our inability—at the level of literature, history, and politics—to grasp the scale and violence of climate change.

The extreme nature of today’s climate events, Ghosh asserts, make them peculiarly resistant to contemporary modes of thinking and imagining. This is particularly true of serious literary fiction: hundred-year storms and freakish tornadoes simply feel too improbable for the novel; they are automatically consigned to other genres. In the writing of history, too, the climate crisis has sometimes led to gross simplifications; Ghosh shows that the history of the carbon economy is a tangled global story with many contradictory and counterintuitive elements.

Ghosh ends by suggesting that politics, much like literature, has become a matter of personal moral reckoning rather than an arena of collective action. But to limit fiction and politics to individual moral adventure comes at a great cost. The climate crisis asks us to imagine other forms of human existence—a task to which fiction, Ghosh argues, is the best suited of all cultural forms. His book serves as a great writer’s summons to confront the most urgent task of our time.

Advertisements

New Earth Politics: new book out soon on politics in the #Anthropocene

Details from MIT Press Here9780262034364

New Earth Politics

Essays from the Anthropocene

Overview

Humanity’s collective impact on the Earth is vast. The rate and scale of human-driven environmental destruction is quickly outstripping our political and social capacities for managing it. We are in effect creating an Earth 2.0 on which the human signature is everywhere, a “new earth” in desperate need of humane and insightful guidance. In this volume, prominent scholars and practitioners in the field of global environmental politics consider the ecological and political realities of life on the new earth, and probe the field’s deepest and most enduring questions at a time of increasing environmental stress. Arranged in complementary pairs, the essays in this volume include reflections on environmental pedagogy, analysis of new geopolitical realities, reflections on the power of social movements and international institutions, and calls for more compelling narratives to promote environmental action.

At the heart of the volume is sustained attention to the role of traditional scholarly activities in a world confronting environmental disaster. Some contributors make the case that it is the scholar’s role to provide activists with the necessary knowledge and tools; others argue for more direct engagement and political action. All the contributors confront the overriding question: What is the best use of their individual and combined energies, given the dire environmental reality?

Contributors
Erik Assadourian, Frank Biermann, Wil Burns, Ken Conca, Peter Dauvergne, Daniel Deudney, Navroz Dubash, Richard Falk, Joyeeta Gupta, Maria Ivanova, Peter Jacques, Sikina Jinnah, Karen T. Litfin, Michael F. Maniates, E. A. Mendenhall, Simon Nicholson, Kate O’Neill, Judith Shapiro, Paul Wapner, Oran R. Young

CFP: Indigenous Peoples and the Politics of Water

I’ve copied below the CFP for a special issue, see original here.

Special Issue CFP: Indigenous Peoples and the Politics of Water

Overview

[Feb 3, 2016] Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society invites articles from scholars, artists, activists, policy makers, and community members for a special issue of the journal exploring Indigenous peoples and the politics of water. Water is an ancient and sacred element of Indigenous epistemologies and ways of life. Water sustains, builds and inspires. In the contemporary context climate change, water security, and environmental destruction have captivated popular attention. A proliferation of scholarly and public works, as well as (inter)governmental working groups and summits, have emerged to address these interrelated issues.  We acknowledge the importance of these approaches to understanding and analyzing water. However, this issue is more concerned with the social and political properties of water than with identifying and articulating Indigenous “cultural” or “traditional” conceptions of water, or mainstream approaches that address water through frameworks of supply and demand, science, security, crisis, and scarcity.

Instead, we seek contributions that foreground critical historical, theoretical, and empirical approaches to understanding the politics of water. We contend that struggles over water figure centrally in salient concerns about self-determination, sovereignty, nationhood, autonomy, resistance, survival, and futurity that drive Indigenous political and intellectual work. In recent history, we have seen water assume a distinct and prominent role in Indigenous political formations. Recent examples range from the August 2015 Gold King Mine Spill, which dumped over three million gallons of toxic waste into the San Juan River and devastated Navajo farming communities in the northern part of the Navajo Nation to the continuing water struggles in California, and the water security issues that face First Nations peoples dealing with resource extraction in Canada. Indigenous peoples around the world are forced to formulate innovative and powerful responses to the contamination, exploitation, and theft of water, even as they are silenced or dismissed by genocidal schemes reproduced through legal, corporate, state, and academic means.

We also recognize that the politics of water is deeply intertwined with contemporary water security and policy issues that affect both Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples around the world. The responses and efforts to control water in both Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities have been consistently designed to serve the imperatives of settler colonialism. Indigenous analyses of these global issues in water politics are key–whether at grassroots, institutional, or governmental levels– to challenging, refusing, and revising the violence of such imperatives and building a better future.

This special issue stages a timely intervention into this urgent state of affairs, focusing on how water is taken up in fields of power conditioned by settler colonialism, normative Indigenous nationalisms, (neo)liberalism, Indigenous resistance, and capitalism. As an undisciplinary, open access journal dedicated to material struggles for decolonization, Decolonization is uniquely positioned for convening a collection of articles concerned with the invigoration of efforts to decolonize the genocidal politics of water. We seek contributions that address the politics of water in any number of diverse historical, political, tribal, or regional contexts. We also seek a diversity of perspectives and backgrounds, including environmental science, social justice, policy, literary, grassroots, activist, historical, and artistic approaches. However, we seek contributions that are characteristically rich in theory, research, critique, and analysis. Whether articulated through a politics of refusal, a critique of water law, or engagement with Indigenous epistemologies, we also seek contributions that advance a sustained and critical engagement with the idea and practice of decolonization. While you may choose to employ existing decolonial frameworks in your manuscript, we also welcome arguments that challenge the appropriateness of decolonization as a framework for understanding/interpreting water politics. Given the dearth of critical writings about this subject, we envision this issue as a landmark source for critical Indigenous perspectives on water that will generate vibrant discussion well into the future. Join us!

As part of this special issue, we will also be issuing a separate call for submissions (CFS) for a blog and online exhibit to accompany the more conventional article format outlined here. We see both halves of the special issue–the journal and the blog/online exhibit–as holding equal weight in making the special issue a success. We will begin to circulate the blog/online exhibit CFS in the early fall of 2016.

 

Guiding Themes for This Issue

 

  • Water and (settler) colonialism
  • Water and heteropatriarchy/heteronormativity
  • The politics of refusal
  • The politics of water settlements
  • Water as a social, cultural and political force
  • Water and comparative racializations
  • Water and resistance/social justice/resurgence
  • Water and capitalism
  • Water and (neo)liberalism/biopolitics
  • Water and violence
  • Water and power
  • Water and resource extraction (uranium, oil, coal, natural gas, copper, gold)
  • Water and state formation
  • Water and the law
  • Water and the ethics of tribal economic development
  • The politics of water security
  • Water and transnational/comparative configurations
  • The privatization of water
  • Water and urbanization
  • The politics of dams, reservoirs, and other diversion schemes
  • Water as a form of colonial dispossession
  • Water and the protection of sacred sites
  • Water and health/quality of life disparities
  • Water and agriculture/farming
  • Water and human rights/restorative justice/alternative paths for recourse
  • Water and youth
  • Water and art/cultural production/cultural politics
  • Water and militarization/policing
  • Water and fishing/treaty/customary rights

 

Deadlines & Submissions

  • Call for Submissions Published (February 2016)
  • Abstracts Due (April 4, 2016)

?      Abstracts should be between 300-500 words and include a title, author name(s), and a 150 word biography of the author(s)

?      Email your abstracts to crislingbaldy@mail.sdsu.edu and myazzi02@unm.edu

  • Submissions Due (August 31, 2016)

 

Contact Information

 

Cutcha Risling Baldy (Hupa, Karuk, Yurok)

Assistant Professor, American Indian Studies

San Diego State University

crislingbaldy@mail.sdsu.edu

 

Melanie K. Yazzie (Diné)

PhD Candidate, American Studies

University of New Mexico

myazzi02@unm.edu

 

A downloadable PDF version of this Call for Submissions can be found here.

 

For more information on Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society, visit the journal’s website at decolonization.org.

Running Dry: Water, People, and the Planet in Marathwada, India

This is a very interesting series on water problems in Marathwada, India. Well worth the read, and certainly important for understands the broader interconnections and logics affecting people and water.

Driving versus resisting forces in Anthropocene politics: Whitney Autin

Paul Robbins on Ecological anxiety disorder: diagnosing the politics of the Anthropocene

Chantal Mouffe: an agonistic approach to recent protest movements

Erik Swyngedouw: The post-political city or the insurgent polis

Political utopianism in the Anthropocene: Clive Hamilton

Mohawk Interruptus: Audra Simpson on the refusal of the settler state

Audra Simpson has an excellent new book out that pushes on anthropologists and political scientists to stop assuming the colonial project is complete. Here is a description of the book from Duke University Press. And, below, a talk Dr. Simpson gave earlier this year at the University of Victoria.

Mohawk interruptus: political life across the borders of settler states

Mohawk Interruptus is a bold challenge to dominant thinking in the fields of Native studies and anthropology. Combining political theory with ethnographic research among the Mohawks of Kahnawà:ke, a reserve community in what is now southwestern Quebec, Audra Simpson examines their struggles to articulate and maintain political sovereignty through centuries of settler colonialism. The Kahnawà:ke Mohawks are part of the Haudenosaunee or Iroquois Confederacy. Like many Iroquois peoples, they insist on the integrity of Haudenosaunee governance and refuse American or Canadian citizenship. Audra Simpson thinks through this politics of refusal, which stands in stark contrast to the politics of cultural recognition. Tracing the implications of refusal, Simpson argues that a sovereign political order can exist nested within a sovereign state, albeit with enormous tension around issues of jurisdiction and legitimacy. Finally, Simpson critiques anthropologists and political scientists, whom, she argues, have too readily accepted the assumption that the colonial project is complete. Belying that notion, Mohawk Interruptus calls for and demonstrates more robust and evenhanded forms of inquiry into Indigenous politics in the teeth of settler governance.