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Sources, Resources and Power

Date: 15 November 2005 Time: 10.30 am

Silver statue made to commemorate opening of Balram Das Waterworks, Raipur, c.1893
Silver statue made to commemorate opening of Balram Das Waterworks, Raipur, c.1893

Sponsored by the Institute of Advanced Studies

A seminar and lecture series aiming to facilitate research collaboration between visiting and resident academics in the fields of colonial and post-colonial studies and includes explorations of science and technology, governance, militarism, environmental history and the political economy of nature conservation

Colonial Matters and Materialities: Discussions on Technology, Culture and Economy (Tuesday, 15 November 2005, 10.30am - 4.30pm, A2, IAS Building)

This interdisciplinary workshop will address current issues on colonial and post-colonial matters regarding technology, culture and the economy. Discussions will focus on empirical and theoretical issues in the area of colonial and post-colonial studies - and the direction they are taking. There will be four position papers presented by the speakers for open discussion by workshop participants focusing on the environment, urban space, the military and education. The workshop will be divided into two sessions with two papers being presented in each session.

10.30-12.30: Manali Desai (Reading) 'The Disorder of Discipline: State Formation and Violence in Western India, 1857-1947'.

Deepak Kumar (JNU) 'Technology and Development Discourse: Health and Agriculture in British India'.

1.30-3.30: Rohan D'Souza (JNU) 'The Great Hydraulic Transition: Colonial Rule and making the Bengal Delta'>.

Gavin Rand (Greenwich) '"Lifting the Purdah": Technology, culture and imperial military power on the Northwest frontier'.

Flooding and the political ecology of resilience (Wednesday, 16 November 2005, 12am - 5pm, A2, IAS Building)

Discourses on the modern hydraulic landscape are increasingly viewed along two sharply opposed and competing paradigms. Those advocates for water to be harnessed chiefly as an economic resource have pressed for the adoption of the discipline of the market: as arbiter of access, regulator between competing demands and the main signal for economic growth. Broadly discussed under the rubric of privatisation, water as an economic resource has spurred in its wake an emphasis on 'efficiency' and 'profitability'. On the other hand, those pushing for sustainability have sought to recast the debate on water manipulation in terms of assessing the ecological resilience of water technologies and economies. Water ecologies, in effect, are presumed to be too complex and volatile for the legibility or simplification of the market. Will 'Resource' have to give way to 'Resilience'? This workshop will explore tensions between these two paradigms and debate the 'great divergence' between the economy and ecology.

12.00-12.45: Dr. Will Medd (Sociology, Lancaster), 'From the politics of urgency to the governance of preparadeness'.

1.00-1.45: Dr. Rohan D'Sousa (JNU), 'Floods and the Great Hydraulic Transition in India'.

1.45-2.30: Prof. Graham Chapman (Geography, Lancaster), 'Flooding, erosion and rural-urban relations in Bengal'.

2.45-3.30: Prof. Joe Howe (Queens Univeristy, Belfast), 'Resilience and multi-level governance: flood risk management in the UK'.

3.30-4.30: Open discussion - emerging issues/next steps.

Science and Empire (Thursday, 17 November 2005, 4pm - 6pm, A09/10, IAS Building)

Public Lecture by Professor Deepak Kumar, to be introduced and chaired by Professor Mick Worboys (Manchester University).

'Wastelands' as Common-pool resource: Debating categories and remapping ecology (Friday, 18 November 2005, 1pm-5pm, A2, IAS Building)

The idea of the wasteland can perhaps historically be traced to its other - Locke's theories on property and 'improvement'. The claim that Nature is waste and can possess value only once improved has structured capitalist property and defined ecological hierarchies. Until recent times, the idea of the wasteland was part of the necessary conceptual armature for the dramatic transformation of complex ecological worlds. The expansion of the agrarian frontier and the replacement of forest with fields went hand in hand with various types of enclosures. But the extreme simplification of nature and the exclusion of popular access has, in the contemporary period, witnessed a gradual but dramatic conceptual reversal through the notion of the 'common property resource'. This workshop will debate and explore the repositioning of the terms wastelands and common property resources. Through several case studies, it will help chart out the conceptual, political, legal, economic and ecological consequences of the active remapping of wasteland and common pool resources.

1.00-2.45: Rohan D'Souza (JNU), 'Drainage as Common property resource: Water, Reclamation and Waste in Colonial Bengal'.

Prof. Christopher Rodgers (Law School, University of Newcastle), 'Environmental Management of Common Land: Reforming the Law'.

3.15 -4.00: Dr Eleanor Straughton and Dr. Angus Winchester (History, Lancaster), 'Conflicting ideas of management and control on upland commons, 1800-2005'.


Who can attend: Anyone


Further information

Organising departments and research centres: History


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Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Lancaster University
Lancaster LA1 4YD
United Kingdom

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