Ecodisaster Imaginaries in India: Essays in Critical Perspectives is a volume of critical essays that discuss and debate the literary and cultural representations of ecological/environmental disaster in India from the perspectives that are integral to postcolonial disaster studies and the environmental humanities. The essays offer theoretically informed readings of environmental fiction, nonfiction, and poetry among other contemporary literary genres that open our eyes to today’s burning issues of global warming, climate change, pollution of air and water bodies, deforestation, and species extinction. The volume addresses the staunch ecological consciousness reflected in Rabindranath Tagore’s writings from the early twentieth century, indigenous responses to ecodisaster, and the portrayal of ecodisaster in selected Indian movies which raise questions of human rights violations in the face of manmade disaster and environmental crisis.
Scott Slovic is University Distinguished Professor of environmental humanities at the University of Idaho.
Joyjit Ghosh is professor in the English Department at Vidyasagar University.
Samit Kumar Maiti is assistant professor in the English Department at Seva Bharati Mahavidyalaya.
Scott Slovic, Joyjit Ghosh and Samit Kumar Maiti
Chapter 1. Imagining Tropical Cyclones in Fiction: Representation of Cyclone Disaster in Selected Indian Novels in English
Sk Tarik Ali
Chapter 2. Green Criminology and the Himalayas: Revisiting the Ecodisaster in Kedarnath Valley
Chapter 3. Mythical Imagination and the Young Minds: A Reading of Geeta Dharmarajan’s Ma Ganga and the Razai Box as a Metaphor of Hope in Disaster
Dona Soman and Renu Bhadola Dangwal
Chapter 4. The Trope of the Imperiled Earth in Jhumpa Lahiri’s Unaccustomed Earth and The Lowland
Chapter 5. Land, Trauma, and Family: An Ecocritical Reading of Perumal Murugan’s Rising Heat in the Anthropocene
Chapter 6. A Vulnerable City, Environmental Apocalypse, and the “Politics” of Climate Disaster: A Comparative Study of The Black Dwarves of the Good Little Bay and A Cloud Called Bhura
Chapter 7. Negotiating Mourning and Trauma: Imagining the Repertoire in Kamala Markandaya’s The Coffer Dams
Richa Joshi Pandey and Dheeraj Pandey
Chapter 8. Writing the Grotesque: Poisoned Bodies and Toxic Environment in Ambikasutan Mangad’s Swarga: A Posthuman Tale
Sonalika Chaturvedi and Renu Bhadola Dangwal
Chapter 9. The Culture of Modernity and Ecological Change: A Reading of Amitav Ghosh’s The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable
Joydip Ghosh and Tajuddin Ahmed
Chapter 10. Romanticizing Greenness: A Reading of Rabindranath Tagore from an Eco-theological Perspective
Goutam Buddha Sural
Chapter 11. Ecological Violence, Peripheral Voices, and the Need for Climate Justice: Reading Jacinta Kerketta, the Voice of Contemporary Jharkhand
Shreya Bhattacharji and Roshan Raj Singh
Chapter 12. “Cry, children/cry the silence of the earth”: Representation of Climate Change, Environmental Disaster, and Species Extinction in Contemporary Indian Ecopoetry
Chapter 13. “The Mangroves are home to predators of every kind”: Performing Ecoprecarity in Amitav Ghosh’s Jungle Nama: A Story of the Sundarban
Ashwarya Samkaria and Debajyoti Biswas
Chapter 14. The Bollywood Representation of the Bhopal Gas Disaster: A Foucauldian Discourse Analysis
Debabrata Modak and Tarakeshwar Senapati
Chapter 15. Radical Landscapes: Analysing Ecodisaster and Human Rights Violations in Irada and Kadvi Hawa
About the Contributors
Tightly focused on Indian literary and filmic production, this wide-ranging volume explores the concept of “ecodisaster imaginaries” through its varied and complex nuances. Touching some of major theoretical cornerstones in contemporary environmental humanities—cli-fi, narratives of “slow violence,” the Anthropocene, studies of toxic hazardscapes, ecocritical analyses, geocriticism and multispecies studies—this trendsetting volume opens new conversations about literature, cultural production and literary criticism in the Indian context. More fundamentally, a central concern of this volume is with storytelling and narrative. What kind of stories give shape to human and nonhuman experiences in this era of accelerating climate change and ecological disasters? How are these stories told? How do they impact and create an affective connection with audiences both in India and beyond? The fifteen well-researched and lucidly written essays in this volume address these questions from multiple angles. A very valuable and important contribution to the environmental humanities in and about India.
Ecodisaster Imaginaries in India: Essays in Critical Perspectives is an accessible and original volume that contributes significantly to the transnational praxis of ecocriticism. This volume contains fifteen essays that draw on diverse theoretical perspectives from the domains of literature and popular media to highlight the theme of ecoprecarity in a country where the burden of anthropogenic disasters are increasingly felt by all and largely borne by the poor and marginalized. These essays engage with a wide spectrum of themes namely cyclone disasters, landslides and flooding, climate justice, displacement of indigenous communities from ancestral lands, toxicity and slow violence among others. In addition to foregrounding the Indian environmental ethos, the essays in this volume convey a strong sense of place and contribute to global conversations in the field.