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9 Jun 2021 | News

New book announcement – Environmental Humanities in the New Himalayas: Symbiotic Indigeneity, Commoning, Sustainability

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Contributing authors and editors during the final publishing workshop in Kunming, China.

The active research-teaching community of the Himalayan University Consortium, co-led by Dan Smyer Yü, Yunnan University, Erik de Maaker, Leiden University, and the Thematic Working Group on Trans-Himalayan Environmental Humanities (TWG THEH) is delighted to announce the publication of its latest multinational collaborative research outcome, Environmental Humanities in the New Himalayas: Symbiotic Indigeneity, Commoning, Sustainability (Routledge 2021). Featured in the Routledge Environmental Humanities Series and edited by Dan Smyer Yü and Erik de Maaker, this is the first publication marking the formal introduction of environmental humanities, an emerging interdisciplinary field of environmental studies, to the Himalayan region.

To be launched on 17 June 2021, the publication is currently available for pre order. The book showcases how the eco-geological creativity of the earth is integrally woven into its landforms, cultures, and cosmovisions of modern Himalayan communities. It features case studies from Bhutan, Assam, Sikkim, Tibet, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sino-Indian borderlands, many of which are documented by authors from indigenous Himalayan communities. It explores three environmental characteristics of the modern Himalayas – the anthropogenic, indigenous, and animist. More details on this publication are available here.

This book project was primarily funded by Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and Global Programme Climate Change and Environment (GPCCE) through a focus grant from HUC. The final publishing workshop for the book held in Kunming, China, was partially supported by the National Centre for Borderlands Ethnic Studies in Southwest China (NaCBES) at Yunnan University and the First-Class Discipline Construction for Ethnology Project of Yunnan University. The research components of five individual chapters were also funded respectively by the British Academy Sustainable Development Program, the Irish Research Council, the Indian Council of Social Science Research, the Dutch Research Council, the HUC-TROSA Water Research Grant, the David Myer Fellowship at La Trobe University, the National Natural Science Foundation of China, the National Social Science Foundation of China, the Swedish Research CouncilSSHRC Partnership Development Grant, and an Asian Modernities and Traditions Research Fund of Leiden University.

The HUC Thematic Working Group on Trans-Himalayan Environmental Humanities is dedicated to advancing interdisciplinary studies of the environment and exploring innovative ways for building a sustainable future. Actively working with scholars, scientists, and development specialists based in the Himalayas and around the world, it values the synergy of traditional knowledge, indigenous ecological wisdoms, and modern environmental science in its teaching and research endeavours in the context of the Anthropocene.

We congratulate the contributing authors and editors for this wonderful achievement and thank them for their fine research and hard work on this publication.


Contributing authors

  1. Jelle J.P Wouters, Royal Thimphu College (Royal University of Bhutan)
  2. Charisma K. Lepcha, Sikkim University
  3. Madan Koirala, Tribhuwan University
  4. Rashila Deshar, Tribhuwan University
  5. Thinley Dema, Bhutan
  6. Bhagarbi Das, India
  7. Rongnyoo Lepcha, India
  8. Mongfing Lepcha, India
  9. Ruth Gamble, Australia
  10. Kinley Choki, Bhutan
  11. Dibas Shrestha, Nepal
  12. Sarina Maharjan, Nepal
  13. Anwesha Dutta, India
  14. Shailendra Yashwant, India
  15. Zainab Khalid, Pakistan
  16. Alexander Davis, Australia
  17. John Grim, America

Routledge book 2021

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