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

Edited By: Kumar Deepak, Vinita Damodaran and Rohan D'Souza

Oxford University Press

Hardback | Feb 2011 | #190339 | ISBN-13: 9780198069706
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NHBS Price: £39.99 $52/€45 approx

About this book

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.


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; NOTES ON CONTRIBUTORS

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