Global Warming & the Rise of Asia w/ Amitav Ghosh and Prasenjit Duara
The India China Institute engages two renowned intellectuals – Amitav Ghosh and Prasenjit Duara – in a conversation on climate change and capitalism in Asia.
Opening remarks by The New School President David van Zandt.
Conversation moderated by ICI Research Scholar and NYU History Professor David Ludden.
Friday, Feb 12th, 2016
5:30 -7:30 PM
63 Fifth Ave, Tishman Auditorium
University Center, The New School
Empire and the Anthropocene: Asia’s place in the genealogy of global warming
In accounts of the Anthropocene, and of the present climate crisis, capitalism is usually the pivot on which the narrative turns. But this narrative overlooks a driver of history that is of equal importance: Empire and imperialism. The relation between capitalism and empire is not, and has never been, a simple one: in relation to global warming the imperatives of capital and empire have often pushed in different directions, producing some unexpected and counter-intuitive results. To look at the climate crisis through the prism of Empire is to recognize that the continent of Asia is conceptually critical to every aspect of global warming: it’s causes, it’s philosophical and historical implications, and to the possibility of a global response to it.
Amitav Ghosh was born in Calcutta and grew up in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. He is the author of one book of non-fiction, a collection of essays and eight novels, of which the most recent is Flood of Fire (Book 3 in the Ibis Triogy). His books have won prizes in India, Europe and Myanmar and he has been awarded honorary degrees by the Sorbonne, Paris, and by Queens College, New York.
Network Asia and the Problem of Sustainability
The December 2015 Climate Change Summit (COP21) was a landmark event for the global recognition of the planetary crisis of sustainability. But as is well known there are significant gaps between recognition and implementation of the largely voluntary commitments; the latter depends upon a range of monumental transformations not only in the market and technological management of carbon emissions but also notions of sovereignty that will have to allow for extra-national monitoring and changes in expectations and life-styles.
The same globalization process which has brought about this recognition had in the last decade also accelerated capitalist regionalization of the world, including the re-connection of Asian societies, especially around China, India and Southeast Asia, particularly ASEAN. While policy makers intended the integration of Asia to enhance capitalist competitiveness, the new or renewed connections will have to be mobilized equally to address problems of regional and global sustainability. What are the forces working for sustainability in the region and how can they be enhanced?
Prasenjit Duara is the Oscar Tang Chair of East Asian Studies at Duke University. Born and educated in India, he received his PhD in Chinese history from Harvard University. He was Professor of History and East Asian Studies at University of Chicago (1991-2008) and Raffles Professor and Director of Asia Research Institute at the National University of Singapore (2008-2015). His latest book is The Crisis of Global Modernity: Asian Traditions and a Sustainable Future (Cambridge 2014).
Co-sponsors: Global Studies and Environmental Studies at Eugene Lang College, The Center for Public Scholarship, South Asia – New York University, Baruch College – CUNY.
“Aboveground—40 Moments of Transformation”
A photography exhibition of young feminist activism in China
February 12-26, 2016
Skybridge Art Space
65 West 11th Street, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10011
The India China Institute is pleased to announce “Aboveground—40 Moments of Transformation”, a photography exhibition of young feminist activism and the struggle for gender equality in China. The exhibition is co-hosted by China Rights in Action, Feminist Task Force, and Asian American Arts Centre.
Feminism calls for freedom from restrictive gender roles and for gender equality in the realization of social, cultural, economic and political rights. “Aboveground—40 Moments of Transformation” documents young Chinese activists’ impressive efforts to combat stigma, discrimination, and violence against women in pursuit of these ideals. These activists use public spaces as their battlefront to gain visibility and spark open dialogue. But in China, bringing the fight for gender equality above ground comes at great personal risk. This exhibition frames and explores the determination with which these young feminists are pushing for a China with true gender equality.
In 1995, 189 governments came together in China and adopted the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. These documents were a remarkable milestone, committing to a vision for women and girls of equal rights, freedom, and opportunities in all spheres of society and of lives free from want, fear, and violence. Two decades later, ironically, feminists and lawyers in China who fight for such equal rights are subjected to search, harassment, and even detention. On March 7, 2015, the Chinese government detained five women activists on the eve of International Women’s Rights Day for their efforts to call attention to sexual harassment. The women received an outpouring of support from feminists, women’s groups, human right organizations, and politicians around the world. But dark clouds are still gathering inside China. Although “The Feminist Five” were released after 37 days, it was conditioned on a strict form of bail that limits their movement, associations, and speech, and they are still treated as criminal suspects by Chinese police.
The India China Institute (ICI) at The New School and the International Society for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture (ISSRNC) are excited to announce a joint conference on the theme of religion, nature and mountain habitats, to be held at The New School in New York City. The tentative date is from Thursday April 6th to Sunday April 9th, 2017, but will be confirmed later in 2015. This conference will also host the closing of the India China Institute’s three-year research project on Sacred Landscapes and Sustainable Futures in the Himalaya.
Mountain communities around the world, from the Himalaya to the Andes to the Appalachians, are facing growing pressures from multiple directions—melting glaciers, shifting agricultural patterns, increased livelihood risks and even mountaintop coal mining. An increasingly erratic global climate poses unknown future challenges to mountain communities and ecosystems, as well everyone living downstream. Some scholars have even suggested we are now entering a fundamentally new geologic epoch dominated by human actions called the Anthropocene.
This conference seeks to critically explore the intersections of mountain communities, mountain spirituality, and mountain futures in our increasingly uncertain world. Some of the issues we hope to explore include: major challenges and opportunities facing mountain communities in the 21st century; relationships between mountain spiritualities and mountain peoples adapting to climate change; knowledge of mountain communities that can help us better address issues of social and ecological justice; and the future of mountain peoples?
More details about the conference, as well as the official CFP, will be posted in the coming months.