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This module tries to familiarise students with critical anthropological perspectives on sustainability. This will involve understanding the environmental dimensions of the simultaneous historical emergence of mass poverty and mass prosperity in distinct world regions, and critically evaluating the sustainable development efforts used to address the former, using a core ethnography and shorter key texts. The module begins by considering the environmental antecedents and implications of the long historical process of the making of the contemporary Global South and goes on to probe the exacerbation of both global inequality and ecological crisis in the era of globalization. Excerpts from landmark texts by Mike Davis, Peter Worsley and Amita Baviskar are among the readings assigned for the first segment of this module. The second segment is based on a close textual reading of an important recent ethnography on the subject of struggles over natural resources, Nikhil Anand’s ‘The Hydraulic City: Water and the Infrastructures of Citizenship in Mumbai’.
This module is a standalone module offered in the Anthropology Department; it is also the second half of the elective stream 'Prioritising People and Planet', which is a teaching collaboration between the International Development and the Anthropology departments.