Tribal Ecologies in Modern India
This workshop explores tribal critiques of climate change and environment-disruptive extractive practices, along with tribal interpretive practices and epistemologies about the environment more broadly.
There are over one hundred million people identified as members of Scheduled Tribes in contemporary India. Sometimes living in remote or ecologically-protected areas long subject to extensive mining, deforestation, wildlife poaching, and forced displacement, Scheduled Tribe communities have emerged in recent decades as agents of a new environmental and infrastructural politics contesting India’s resource-intensive growth regime. Despite this, there have been few systematic attempts to consider the ideas and worldviews that animate indigenous political claims.
This workshop considers indigenous thought as a way of deepening existing understandings of the relationship between environmental issues, cultural marginalization, and the contemporary politics of climate change. Combining historical and ethnographic research, we will focus on comparative cases ranging across indigenous homelands in India. We will bring together several universities and NGOs, from India, Germany, the USA and Denmark, to explore both theoretical and applied questions. Taken together, our collective work examines the continuities and ruptures that mark tribal identity in modern India, set against the growing ecological crises facing such communities.
Come join us for a day of discussion about how to advance our theoretical and applied understanding of tribal ecologies.