Program

ACLS Fellowship Program , Comparative Perspectives on Chinese Culture and Society

Project

Nature Conservation, Nationalism, and Democracy in India

Project

The Wood Age in Asia: Comparative Perspectives on Forest History in China

Department

India & South Asia Studies, Anthropology

Nature Conservation, Nationalism, and Democracy in India

I propose to complete a monograph on nature conservation in India that examines the politics of landscape representation and the politics of struggles over natural resources. This study examines the ways in which nature conservation intersects with regional and national identity formation for different social groups interested in nature both as economic resource and cultural artifact. Concurrently I will complete work on an edited collection on ecological nationalism in South Asia with comparative essays on four countries with shared colonial legacies but different postcolonial histories in the twentieth century.

The Wood Age in Asia: Comparative Perspectives on Forest History in China

This conference aims to bring together scholars of China and other regions of Asia to discuss the notion of a "wood age" - a period prior to industrialization when wood was the primary material basis of society. Using perspectives from social and cultural history; archeology and paleoecology; and the histories of art, architecture, science, and medicine, this conference will address the wide range of ways that people interacted with forests. While China is at the heart of our conversations, we will also include research from South and Southeast Asia. These dialogues will help move forest history beyond the early focus on deforestation while offering an environmental critique of Asian history and correcting the current Eurocentric bias of forest history.