Cosmopolitical Ecologies Across Asia : Places and Practices of Power in Changing Environments book cover
1st Edition

Cosmopolitical Ecologies Across Asia
Places and Practices of Power in Changing Environments

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after November 26, 2021
ISBN 9780367477363
November 26, 2021 Forthcoming by Routledge
296 Pages 41 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Cosmopolitical Ecologies Across Asia offers a unique insight into the non-human and spiritual dimensions of environmental management in a changing world.

This volume presents a comparative, place-based exploration of landscapes across Asia and the entities, practices and knowledges that inhabit them. Rather than treating sacred mountains, terrains and water sources as self-contained, esoteric religious phenomena, the authors consider them within critical 'cosmopolitical ecologies' framings in which non-human entities are engaged as actors in the socio-political arena. The chapters include case studies of healing springs recognized by governments, and sacred mountains that are addressed by heads of states and Communist Party cadres, or that speak to the faithful through spirit mediums in a politics of re-enchantment. Contributors explore the diverse ways in which non-human entities such as forest spirits, reindeer, mountains and Buddhist Masters of the Land are engaged by humans to navigate environmental change and address a range of ecological threats from large-scale mining to climate change. Cosmopolitical ecologies approaches encompass the healing power of topography as well as transformative intimacies with other-than-human beings such as sparrows within an Islamic eco-theological poetic setting. In this light the book observes dynamic and creative processes of cosmological innovation including the repurposing of ritual to address challenges such as the Covid-19 epidemic.

This book will be of great interest to students and scholars of environment and society across disciplinary perspectives in general, and to anthropologists, human geographers, political ecologists, indigenous studies, area studies, environmental sciences and environmental humanities scholars in particular.

Table of Contents

I: Introduction: Cosmopolitical Ecologies Across Asia: Introduction (Riam Kuyakanon, Hildegard Diemberger, David Sneath)  II: Cosmopolitical Landscapes and Ecologies of Practice  1. When Lha Lu Spirits Suffer and Sometimes Fight Back: Tibetan Cosmopolitics in Times of Environmental Threats and Climate Change (Hildegard Diemberger)  2. Territorial Cults in Sino-Tibetan Borderlands: Mobilizing Spirits for Local Identity and Environmental Protection (Yudru Tsomu)  3. Up in Smoke: Cosmopolitical Ecologies and the Disappearing Spirits of the Land in Thailand’s Agricultural Air Pollution (Julia Cassaniti)  III: Communities and Cosmos: Place-based Knowledges and Practices   4. Balancing the Sacred Landscape: Environmental Management in Limi North-Western Nepal (Astrid Hovden & Hanna Havnevik)  5. ‘Mother’ Memorials and Cosmopolitics of Environment in Buryatia (Caroline Humphrey)  6. Behind the Façade: Unseen Faces of Japan (David C. Lewis)  IV: Cosmopolitics and the Contemporary State   7. Knowing the Lords of the Land: Cosmopolitical Dynamics and Historical Change in Mongolia (David Sneath & Elizabeth Turk)   8. Speaking of Mountain Deities Beyond the County Border: Postsocialist Cosmopolitics and State Territoriality in Inner Mongolia, China (Thomas White)  9. Contesting the Chinese Taiga: Spirits, Reindeer, and Environmental Conservation in Northeast China (Richard Fraser)   V: Cosmopolitical Ecologies for the 21st Century   10. Cosmopolitical ecologies of COVID-19 in Bhutan: Repurposing Ritual and Re-presenting Realities (Riam Kuyakanon & Dorji Gyeltshen)  11. Sharing a Room with Sparrows: Maulana Azad and Muslim Ecological Thought (Anand Vivek Taneja)  12. Druids and Jhakris: Place-based Conservation and Conversations Between Spirits and Spirit-workers from Britain and Nepal (Jonathan Woolley)  VI: Afterword  13. Cosmopolitical Ecologies in Translation (Hildegard Diemberger, Riam Kuyakanon, David Sneath)

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Riamsara Kuyakanon is a Senior Research Associate at the Mongolia and Inner Asia Studies Unit, Department of Social Anthropology, University of Cambridge, UK.

Hildegard Diemberger is Research Director at the Mongolia and Inner Asia Studies Unit & Fellow of Pembroke College, University of Cambridge, UK.

David Sneath is the Caroline Humphrey Professor of the Anthropology of Inner Asia at the Department of Social Anthropology and Director of the Mongolia & Inner Asia Studies Unit, University of Cambridge, UK.