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IBS Speaker Series: Malini Rama Ranganathan
February 5 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Title: The Long Climate Crisis: Global Political Ecologies of Caste, Race, and Migration
Abstract: This talk argues that to bolster our understanding of the long climate crisis, we turn to the interplay of caste and race, labor migration, and ecological and economic extraction in India and the Indian Ocean World from the late 19th century. It draws on over 15 years of ethnographic and activist research on the contemporary climate, housing, and labor unfreedoms of marginalized castes and classes in Bengaluru, India and connects these with transoceanic archives on indentured labor migration to the colonial plantations of Malaya in the Indian Ocean World. In so doing, it rethinks global climate precarity as forged through configurations of caste, coloniality, and racial capitalism. Finally, it suggests that across anticaste, antiracist, and diasporic narratives lies a commitment to planetary humanism. It is this planetary humanism—an ethic that sutures the concerns of land, labor, and ecology with human freedom—that must reinvigorate scholarship and action on global environmental justice.
Bio: Malini Ranganathan is Associate Professor in the Department of Environment, Development, and Health at the School of International Service and a faculty affiliate of the Department of Critical Race, Gender, and Culture Studies at American University in Washington, DC. A critical geographer by training, her research on India and the U.S. studies land, labor, and environmental politics in cities, as well as intellectual histories of anticaste and abolitionist thought. She is the winner of the American Association of Geographers 2023 Harold M. Rose Award for Antiracist Research and Practice and an ACLS-Mellon Collaborative Humanities Grant. She is co-author of Corruption Plots: Stories, Ethics and Publics of the Late Capitalist City (Cornell Press, 2023) and co-editor of Rethinking Difference in India as Racialization (Routledge, 2022), along with over 20 peer-reviewed articles. She is currently working on two books related to environmental justice.
This Speaker Series event is co-sponsored by the CU Boulder Center for Asian Studies & CU Boulder Department of Geography.