This book examines current trends in scholarly thinking about the new field of the Environmental Humanities, focusing in particular on how the history of globalization and imperialism represents a special challenge to the representation of environmental issues. Essays in this collection examine the role that narrative, visual, and aesthetic forms can play in drawing attention to and shaping our ideas about long-term and catastrophic environmental challenges such as climate change, militarism, deforestation, the pollution and management of the global commons, petrocapitalism, and the commodification of nature.
The volume presents a postcolonial approach to the environmental humanities, especially in conjunction with current thinking in areas such as political ecology and environmental justice. Spanning regions such as Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, Australasia and the Pacific, as well as North America, the volume includes essays by founding figures in the field as well as new scholars, providing vital new interdisciplinary perspectives on: the politics of the earth; disaster, vulnerability, and resilience; political ecologies and environmental justice; world ecologies; and the Anthropocene. In engaging critical ecologies, the volume poses a postcolonial environmental humanities for the twenty-first century. At the heart of this is a conviction that a thoroughly global, postcolonial, and comparative approach is essential to defining the emergent field of the environmental humanities, and that this field has much to offer in understanding critical issues surrounding the creation of alternative ecological futures.
The Partition of India in 1947 marked the birth of two modern nation-states and the end of British colonialism in South Asia. The move towards the 'two nation solution' was accompanied by an unprecedented mass migration (over twelve million people) to and from areas that would become India and Pakistan.
Diverse representations of the violence that accompanied this migration (including the abduction and sexual assault of over 75,000 women) can be found in fictional, historical, autobiographical, and recent scholarly works. Unsettling Partition examines short stories, novels, testimonies, and historiography that represent women's experiences of the Partition. Counter to the move for 'recovery' that informs some historical research on testimony and fictional representations of women's Partition experiences, Jill Didur argues for an attentiveness to the literary qualities of women's narratives that interrogate and unsettle monolithic accounts of the period.
Rather than attempt to seek out a 'hidden history' of this time, Didur examines how the literariness of Partition narratives undermines this possibility.Unsettling Partitions reinterprets the silences found in women's accounts of sectarian violence that accompanied Partition (sexual assault, abduction, displacement from their families) as a sign of their inability to find a language to articulate their experience without invoking metaphors of purity and pollution. Didur argues that these silences and ambiguities in women's stories should not be resolved, accounted for, translated, or recovered but understood as a critique of the project of patriarchal modernity.