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The Nehru Memorial Museum & Library


‘Ecology and Society’, 22nd May, 2015.

Concept Note:

For long it was assumed that there existed a hard ‘dividing line’ between nature and culture and consequently between the scientific and humanistic disciplines. Scholarship, in recent years, however, has increasingly argued the opposite: that social worlds and ecological worlds actually overlap, intersect and co-constitute each other. Such claims, in particular, have provided fertile grounds for interdisciplinary exchanges between naturalists, ecologists and historians and social scientists. But has the ‘social construction of the environment’ or the ideas of inventing nature gone too far. Has nature disappeared, in such a view and merely become a cultural artifact? Conversely are biologically informed ideas of changing ecosystems able to take adequate account of differing, contested human views of and interests in nature?

This workshop will bring together historians and biologists, conservationists and ecologists, scholars of rivers and forests, animals and coastlines. The reviews of ongoing work will help open up new questions and stimulate a fresh look at old ones.

Program Schedule:   Friday, 22 May 2015


9.00 a.m. – 9.05 a.m.
Welcome Note:
Prof. Mahesh Rangarajan,
9.05 a.m. – 10.00 a.m. Keynote Lecture
Chair: Prof. Mahesh Rangarajan,
Speaker: Dr. Rinki Sarkar,
Independent Researcher, New Delhi.
‘Monitoring Socio-Economic Change and Environmental Sustainability in the Western Himalayas: Triumphs and tribulations of a field researcher’
10.00 a.m.-10.15 a.m. Tea/Coffee
10:15 a.m.-11.45 p.m. Session 1
Chair: Dr. Rinki Sarkar,
Independent Researcher,
New Delhi
Speakers: Dr. Ajit Menon,
Madras Institute of Development Studies,
‘Disappearing Fish in the Palk Bay: The political ecology of capture fisheries in a transboundary context’

Ms. Sarandha Jain.
Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.
‘Oil and the Everyday in Colonial and Independent India (1880-1975)’
11.45 p.m.-12.00 p.m. Tea Break
12.00 p.m.-1.30 p.m. Session 2
Chair: Dr. Vasudha Pande,
Lady Shri Ram College for Women,
University of Delhi,
Speakers: Dr. Vijaya Ramadas Mandala
‘Lost Worlds: Hunting and conservation in colonial India, 1800-1947’

Ms. Saloni Bhatia,
Nature Conservation Foundation,
‘Does Religion Influence People's Attitudes Towards Carnivores?’
1.30 p.m.- 2.30 p.m. Lunch
2.30 p.m.-4.00 p.m. Session 3
Chair: Dr. Vijaya Ramadas Mandala
Speaker: Ms. Meera Anna Oommen
Sydney University of Technology,
Sydney, Australia.
‘The Persistence of Memory: Understanding stakeholder links to place, experience and conservation conflict along a southern Indian forest fringe’

Dr. Soumya Prasad, (On Skype)
Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.
‘Enabling Species Movement Across Changing Landscapes’
4.00 p.m. -4.15 p.m. Tea Break
4.15 p.m. – 4.30 p.m Concluding Session
Photo Collections
Event Photographs


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