Sunday, February 6, 2011

Just Published "The British Empire and the Natural World: Environmental Encounters in South Asia"

The British Empire and the Natural World: Environmental Encounters in South Asia
Edited by Deepak Kumar, Vinita Damodaran and Rohan D'Souza
New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2011.
ISBN: 9780198069706, Hardback, 344 pages.
March 2011, Price: US$ 75.00/ INR 695.
This volume provides multi-layered analysis of the environmental impacts under the colonial rule. Presenting detailed case studies from across the Indian subcontinent, it discusses different aspects of Empire-environment encounters like imagination of environment; politics of natural resource management; irrigation and flood control projects; cultural negotiations; and forest and ecological changes. The essays explore the nature of global environmental transformations in the nineteenth century, complex and varied inter-colonial exchanges, techniques and technologies, and the institutionalization of various environmental imaginings. The volume documents the shifts in recent environmental history of the subcontinent. Examining key debates on the subject, it also underlines the need to revisit the role of British Empire as an apt conceptual template for the writing of global environmental history.
This book will be of considerable interest to teachers, students, and scholars of ecological and environmental history particularly those concerned with modern India and the British Empire.
  • Presents a multi-layered analysis of environmental impact
  • Detailed case studies from across Indian subcontinent
  • Editors are renowned environmental historians

Table of Contents
Introduction by Deepak Kumar, Vinita Damodaran and Rohan D'Souza
Part I. Environmental Imaginations and Empire
Chapter 1. The Wild Andamans: Island Imageries and Colonial Encounter by Aparna Vaidik
Chapter 2. Walter Sherwill and the Visual Representation of Colonial Authority in Mid-nineteenth Century India by Daniel Rycroft
Part II. Making Natural Resources for Empire
Chapter 3. Imperial Design: The Royal Indian Engineering College and Public Works in Colonial India by Christopher V. Hill
Chapter 4. Redeeming Wood by Destroying the Forest: Shola, Plantations and Colonial Conservancy on the Nilgiris in the Nineteenth Century by Deborah Sutton
Chapter 5. Making Garden, Erasing Jungle: The Tea Enterprise in Colonial Assam by Jayeeta Sharma
Part III. Impacts and Negotiations: The Empire's Ecological Footprints
Chapter 6. Taming Liquid Gold' and Dam Technology: A Study of the Godavari Anicut by B. Eswara Rao
Chapter 7. Flood Control in North Bihar: An Environmental History from the 'Ground-Level' (1850-1954) by Praveen Singh
Part IV. Cultures Reshape Empire
Chapter 8. The Environmental and Cultural Legacy of Colonial Hydraulic Projects in Two South Indian Deltas by Peter L. Schmitthenner
Chapter 9. Collaboration and Conflict: Environmental Legacies and the Ho of Kolhan (1700 - 1918) by Asoka Kumar Sen
Part V.The Long Ecological Shadows of Empire
Chapter 10. Forests at the Edge of Empire: The Case of Nepal by D. G. Donovan
Chapter 11. Forest Policy and Ecological Change in Hyderabad State (1867-1948) by S. Abdul Thaha

About the Author(s)
Deepak Kumar is Professor at the Zakir Husain Centre for Educational Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University. Vinita Damodaran is Senior Lecturer at the University of Sussex. Rohan D'Souza is Assistant Professor at the Centre for Studies in Science Policy, Jawaharlal Nehru University.

Further Details