Paper Sessions 7A – 8B

Paper Session 7A: Pandemic Environments

Thursday, May 20: 11:30 PM PDT / Friday May 21: 7:30 AM BST / 12:00 PM IST

Chair: Tom Marshall, Queen’s University Belfast, UK


    • “Impact of COVID-19 on chronic kidney disease patients and renal transplantation” | Rita Kumari, Panjab University, Anil Kishore Sinha, Panjab University, Ashish Sharma, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education & Research, Kewal Krishan, Panjab University, and Ritu Nehra, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education & Research, Chandigarh, India

Abstract: The present study attempts to review the significant changes that were evident in the months after the onset of the pandemic and how services were affected in terms of renal healthcare and its impact on kidney donation and renal transplantation at individual as well as institutional level. The paper also discusses the potential changes that may be incorporated in the existing healthcare system to expedite the decision-making process and establish systems in terms of policy making to ensure unhindered healthcare access in events of such crisis in future.

    • “Bio-Power and Bio-Politics during Covid-19 Pandemic: Few Reflections from Nationwide Lockdown in India” | Sonia Kaushal, Dr. Harisingh Gour Vishwavidyalaya, Sarvendra Yadav, Dr. Harisingh Gour Vishwavidyalaya, and Antu Saha, independent author, Sagar, India

Abstract: Foucault’s notion of bio-power and bio-politics can be applied to the Covid-19 pandemic situation to understand how state healthcare systems are used to keep the population less vulnerable and healthy through strict regulations and norms. The idea of bio-power visualizes the human bodies as a resource which needs to remain economically productive. The pandemic situation has made vulnerable to these productive bodies into at risk. Therefore, governments across the globe have come up with the measures to limit the risky behavior of their respective population through surveillance. The health knowledge pertaining to control and contain the Covid-19 situation quickly learned by health.

    • “Spanish Flu and Covid-19: Anthropological Reflections on Pandemics in Rajasthan, India” | Kalyani Sahal, University of Delhi, India

Abstract: In this paper an attempt has been made to document the experiential understanding of the pandemic of 1919 and 2020. It looks at the similarities as well as differences as experienced by the local people in Rajasthan during the pandemics of 1920 and 2020 by combining the historical and anthropological perspectives. It also reflects upon the lessons learnt or unlearnt by the mankind in our preparation of facing for the pandemics.


Paper Session 7B: Environmental Rights and Advocacy

Thursday, May 20: 11:30 PM PDT / Friday May 21: 7:30 AM BST / 12:00 PM IST

Chair: Louise Taylor, Queen’s University Belfast, UK


    • “’Environmental Sociology’ in India: Politics, Research and Activism” | Sumit Saurabh Srivastava, University of Allahabad, India

Abstract: Located at the intersections of Sociology and environmental study, environmental sociology emerged in India as elsewhere as a unique response to the ever-increasing uncomfortable sense of environmental vulnerability across the countries around the globe. The paper engages with the political economy of the environmental issues and challenges in India. Subsequently, it outlines how environmental sociology’s response has strands of academic engagement as well as environmental activism inherent within. The paper concludes by arguing that the ‘Environmental Sociology’ in India is a dynamic discourse and response to un/predictable ecological and environmental disasters.

    • “Himalayan Pastoralism: Politics, Resource Rights and Access” | Ubaid Ahmad Dar, Indira Gandhi National Open University, India

Abstract: With rapidly shifting power structures and increased socio-economic pressures, Bakarwals have demonstrated enormous capacity to incessantly acclimate their spatial strategies. Due to the ongoing conflict and thereafter the power struggle, punitive policies and religious nationalism, these herders are struggling to keep up with their deep-rooted identity. Delayed implementation of FRA and the dynamic regional status is adding to this apprehensive endeavour. So, through this presentation, I intend to explore these aspects of pastoral identity and its inferences for rights and access.

    • “Disaster Capitalism in a Neo-Liberal World: A Case Study of Environmental Advocacy in Post Pandemic South Asia” | Kalindi Sharma, Amity University, India

Abstract: The sudden lockdown in the South Asian region during the initial stages of covid-19 pandemic brought to the forefront several such examples of private agencies capitalizing on the catastrophe.This paper proposes to critically examine how in the deep global South, systems of environmental protocols are further eroded by private commercial conglomerates, who hold tremendous sway in most South Asian countries especially at the face of a disaster emergent situation. In such times of crises, where the ordinary environmental safety protocols are bypassed such commercial clusters engage in practices of burgeoning business that further deplete as well as injure the system of environmental safety.


Paper Session 8A: Exhibiting and Performing the Environment

Friday, May 21: 2:30 AM PDT / 10:30 AM BST / 3:00 PM IST

Chair: Fiona Magowan, Queen’s University Belfast, UK


    • “Slow Violence ≠ Catastrophism? Un/Predictability discussed through the work by Lara Almarcegui” | Helene Romakin, ETH Zurich, Switzerland

Abstract: What we experience as situations of the uncanny, the extreme or the improbable is deeply linked to the culturally established ways in which our conception of time is manifest in storytelling, argues Amitav Ghosh. The gradualist model of geological slowness favored slow processes, not allowing for nature to take any leaps. But when the leaps happen, in human perception they appear unpredictable. In her projects, the artist Lara Almarcegui deals with geological matter in an extremely unagitated manner avoiding the rhetoric of catastrophism and unpredictability while plausibly demonstrating the urgency of acknowledging the consequences of long-term land exploitation.

    • “An Exhibition to Navigate an Un/predictable Environment” | Lina Patmali and Bouthayna Baltaji, National Museum of Qatar

Abstract: This presentation will discuss how an exhibition can be an instigator of scientific research and environmental action, using as a case study the exhibition Seagrass Tales, Dugong Trails, set to open in 2021 in the National Museum of Qatar. The exhibition employs the dugong, a marine animal found in Qatar, to address issues of ecology and environmental responsibility. To achieve this, the exhibition promotes the scientific research of local institutions with the aim to give voice and space to local environmental initiatives, while proactively encourages environmental action through immersive experience and interactive displays.

    • “Un/predictable Choices: Artistic Border Crossings at the Time of the Anthropocene” | Maruška Svašek, Queen’s University Belfast, UK

Abstract: This paper investigates how numerous artists in the twenty-first century have appropriated factory-produced and natural materials in their work with the aim to explore their love for nature and concerns about pollution. Zooming in on two artists from Ghana and the Netherlands, I will argue that their perhaps surprising border-crossings between art, science and everyday life were in fact not fully unpredictable. The paper ends with the suggestion that the condition of un/predictability can be conceptualised as a key element of cultural production, not only at the time of the anthropocene.


Paper Session 8B: Migration, Displacement and (Im)Mobilities

Friday, May 21: 2:30 AM PDT / 10:30 AM BST / 3:00 PM IST

Chair: Evi Chatzipanagiotidou, Queen’s University Belfast, UK


    • “Cities for Tomorrow: Urban Planning and Climate Refugees” | Himani Rathore, University of Delhi, India

Abstract: As the river Padma in Bangladesh swallows land and livelihoods, the people proceed to their largest city – Dhaka, to choose a life between ever-threatened homes and clustered shacks in an urban slum. They run away from their swamped land to city slums soaked in poverty, vulnerability and violence. Lying at the periphery of the urban “environment” they are perceived as a threat to the ecology, aesthetic and bourgeoisie control over city space and resources. The present research aims to explore ways in which predictable patterns of movement and migration can be accommodated in the planning of cities to make them better equipped at dealing with ‘climate refugeeism’.

    • “Making International Climate Migration Governance Inclusive” | Keysha Jaime, Queen’s University Belfast, UK

Abstract:In a landmark ruling, the UN Human Rights committee rejected Ioane Teitiota’s case citing while the dangers of climate change were real and posed a risk to life, they were not ‘imminent,’ further noting the existing efforts by the Government of Kiribati to address climate change and that time remained to counter the impacts of climate change.
This paper will critically explore and unpack the decision of this landmark ruling and assert the importance of inclusive policy making; specifically advocating to facilitate voluntary forms of migration, which lead to vulnerability and the exclusion of rights to those facing the slow-onset effects of climate change-induced mobility.

    • “Tradition and Practice in Demise: Un/Predictable Future of the Fisherfolks in Kashmir Valley” | Hashmat Habib, Indira Gandhi National Open University, India

Abstract: Albeit the primary reason for fishing has remained predominantly for consumption, but in contemporary times, fishing acts as an imperative foundation of income generation and survival. These local inhabitants are currently shifting from their traditional occupation of fishing into other professions, to advantage themselves with a sophisticated social status. Those who continue their traditional fishing practice have to struggle with their deteriorating existence including their fading sustainable livelihood. This study will pronounce the apprehensions of their self-destructive behavior towards the long-lived fishing culture. Ethnographic insights will form the core segment of this research.