Centre for World Environmental History

Nature in the Raj: Colonial Environments and Indigenous Knowledge

Nature in the Raj: Colonial Environments and Indigenous - abstracts [PDF 189.78KB]


International Workshop (August 18th & 19th 2006)

"Nature in the Raj: Colonial Environments and Indigenous Knowledge"

[Organised by the Centre for Studies in Science Policy (CSSP, Jawaharlal Nehru University), Centre for World Environmental History ( CWEH, Sussex University) and Nehru Memorial Museum and Library (NMML, New Delhi)]


(August 18th, Friday, 2006)

Session (1)

9 am -10.30 am

Introductory Remarks

Interdisciplinary Approaches: History and the Environment

Shir K. Jaya Kumar (Director Teen Murti)

Prof. Richard Grove (Australian National University)

Dr Shekhar Pathak (Nehru Memorial Museum and Library)

Prof. Juan Martinez Alier (Barcelona University)

Prof. V.V. Krishna (Jawaharlal Nehru University)

Chair: Prof. Deepak Kumar (Jawaharlal Nehru University)

10 am - TEA BREAK - 10.30 am

Session (2)

10.30 am -1.30 pm


Chair: Prof. Richard Grove (Australian National University)

Introductory Lecture

Dunu Roy (Hazard Centre, New Delhi)

'Perspectives on the Environment: Rethinking the Old and the New"

Prof. Mark Harrison (Oxford Univ.)

Paper: "Beyond the Boundaries of Empire: Nathaniel Wallich (1786-1854) and the Transmission of Botanical Knowledge to Europe"

Discussant: Prof. Neeladri Bhattacharya (Jawaharlal Nehru University)

Harsh Dobhal (Editor Combat Law)

Paper: "Photography as Visual History: Documenting the Memory of Tehri"

Discussant: Dr Vasant Saberwal (Ford Foundation, New Delhi)

1.30 pm -LUNCH- 2.30 pm


2.30 pm - 4.30 pm


Chair: Dr. Rohan D'Souza (Jawaharlal Nehru University)

Dr Mayank Kumar (Delhi University.)

Paper: "Water, State and Society in Pre-Colonial Rajasthan"

Discussant: Dr. Meena Bhargava (Delhi University)

Debjyoti Das (Jawaharlal Nehru University):

Paper: "Natural Hazard and the Brahmaputra River Basin: State design, Floods and People's perceptions in Majuli Island"

Discussant: Bela Malik (independent researcher)

Dr Praveen Singh (CISED, Bangalore)

Paper: 'Colonial Interventions and Flood Control in North Bihar, 1850-1954".

Discussant : Dunu Roy (Hazard Centre)


4.30 pm -TEA BREAK- 4.45 pm


4.45 pm - 6.15pm


Chair: Dr Mahesh Rangarajan (Jadavpur University)

Divyabhanusinh Chavda (Independent researcher)

Paper: "Junagadh State and its Lions: Conservation in Princely India (1877-1947)"

Discussant: Radhika Govindarajan (Jawaharlal Nehru University)

Dr Hitendra J. Maurya & Dr Adhya Saxena ( Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, Vadodara)

Paper: "Mapping The Use And Abuse Of Nature In The Territory Of The Princely States Of South Gujarat: A Study In Their Flora -Fauna Potentialities And The Process Of Deforestation And Conservation c. 1750- c. 1960".

Discussant: Mudit Trivedi (Jawaharlal Nehru University)

Dr Ranjan Chakrabarti (Jadavpur University)

Paper: "The Sundarbans, Badamiyan, History, Nature and Landscape"

Discussant: Dr Archana Prasad (Jamia Milia Islamia)


(August 19th 2006)


9 am - 11.15am

Forests & Lands

Chair: Dr. Shekhar Pathak (NMML)

Dr. Sudha Vasan (IIT, Mumbai)

Paper: "Forest settlements in the Raj: Persistent Diversity in Forest Property Regimes in Himachal Pradesh"

Discussant: Dr. Pranab Mukhopadhyay (SANDEE, Nepal)

Dr Dhirendra Dangwal (Himachal Pradesh University)

Paper: " Appropriate Forestry Knowledge and the Training of Imperial Forest Service: Issues and Implications"

Discussant: Dr. Deborah Sutton (Lancaster University)

Ashok Kumar Sen (Researcher Tribal History, Chaibasa, Jharkhand)Paper: "Indigenous and Colonial Environmental Legacies -Collaboration and
Conflict: The Ho of Kolhan during 1700 - 1918" Discussant: Dr. Savyasaachi (Jamia Milia Islamia, New Delhi)

11.15am-TEA BREAK-11.30am



Forests & Lands

Chair: Dr. Gunnel Cederlof (Uppsala University, Sweden)

Dr Savyasaachi (Jamia Milia Islamia):

Paper: " Nature in Discourses of Deforestation and Conservation"

Discussant: Dr Amar Farooqui (Delhi University)

Ritupan Goswami (Jawaharlal Nehru University)

Paper: "Rights over Nature: Coal-mining in Eastern Assam, 1840-1914"

Discussant: Nandini Dutta (Delhi University)

Dr Velayathan Saravanan (Centre for Economic and Social Studies, Hyderabad)

Paper: "Colonialism and Environment: Commercialisation of Forests and decline of tribals in Madras Presidency, 1882-1947"

Discussant: DrBiswamoy Pati (Delhi University)





Chair: Prof. Mark Harrison (Oxford University)

Dr Pranav Desai (Jawaharlal Nehru University).

Paper: " Indigenous Knowledge and Intellectual Property Protection: Colonial Roots and the Implications for the Futures"

Discussant: Dr. Vikram Dayal (Institute of Economic Growth, New Delhi)

Dr Mahesh Rangarajan (Visiting Professor, Jadavpur University)

Paper: "Indira Gandhi Unrehearsed: Statecraft, Ideology and the Environment, 1966-84"

Discussant: Prof. Deepak Kumar (Jawaharlal Nehru University)

Gopinath Sricandan (Independent Researcher, Pondicherry)

Paper: "Colonial Naturalists, independent Indians and the exotic wildlife - A Photographer's view".

Discussant: Pallava Bagla (Photographer, Corvis images)

4.30pm-TEA BREAK-4.45pm



Chair Dr. Vinita Damodaran (Sussex University)

Discussion and Summing Up

Gunnel Cederlof (Uppsala University)

Mahesh Rangarajan (Jadavpur University)

Richard Grove (Australian National University)