Social Science and Public Policy

An Ontology of Water and Land in North Bihar, India

November 7, 2019 at 12:30pm2:00pm

Eggers Hall, 341

How do people who live in the midst of floods think about water? Informed by multidisciplinary long-term ethnographic fieldwork, this paper reveals how in North Bihar land and water are in intimate correspondence with each other. By virtue of comparison, the ethnographic encounter is held to defy other ontologies of water that see the two substances as in opposition. Since ontologies of natural substances are often “watertight”, mutually exclusive and unable to adapt, their encounter may result in semiotic conflict.

This talk is part of the Sustainable South Asia Initiative. It is co-sponsored by the Central New York Humanities Corridor from an award by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

This event was published on August 19, 2019.


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