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Social Science and Public Policy

Claiming Water: Building Dams and Subjects in British India

February 18, 2020 at 12:30pm1:45pm EST

Eggers Hall, 341

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Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs

South Asia Center presents

Radha Kumar, Assistant Professor of History, Syracuse University

Claiming Water: Building Dams and Subjects in British India

The 1930s construction of the Mettur Dam across the River Kaveri in southern India was a technocratic achievement for the colonial government.  But it was also a financial venture expected to yield reliable returns in the form of increased water-rates. This talk examines how the construction of the dam entailed the construction of the ideal water-consuming subject – the paddy farmer who sold to a global market, while marginalizing other users of the river.

For more information or to request an accommodation, please contact: Emera Bridger Wilson at

This event was first published on January 13, 2020 and last updated on January 14, 2020.

Event Details