1st Edition

Terra Aqua The Amphibious Lifeworlds of Coastal and Maritime South Asia

Edited By Sudipta Sen, May Joseph Copyright 2023
    116 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    116 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book is an anthology of key essays that foregrounds coasts, islands, and shorelines as central to the scholarship on the oceanic environment and climate across South Asia.

    The volume is a collaborative effort amongst historians, anthropologists, and environmentalists to further understand the lifeworlds of the South Asian littoral that are neither fully aquatic or terrestrial, and inescapably both. Terra Aqua invokes a ‘third surface’ located in the interstice of land and water—deltas, estuaries, tidelands, beaches, swamps, sandbanks, and mudflats—and engages in a radical reconceptualization of coastal and shoreline terrains. The book explores uniquely endangered habitats and emergent templates of survival against rising seas and climatic disturbances with particular focus on the Bengal and Malabar coastlines.

    A critical, transdisciplinary contribution to the study of climate change in South Asia, Terra Aqua examines salinity and submergence, coastal erosion, subterranean degradation, and the depletion of littoral lifeways impacting marine communities and biospheres. It will be of particular interest to scholars of environment studies, ecology and climate change in the Global South, hydrology, geography, ocean and island studies, environmental justice, colonialism, and imperial and maritime history.

    Sudipta Sen and May Joseph

    1. Kerala Coast and the Environmental Ethics of Precarity
    May Joseph

    2. A Monsoon Miracle: Naming and Knowing the Mudbanks of Malabar
    Devika Shankar

    3. "Source to Mouth": Engineers, Rivers, Coasts and the Bengal Delta (1750–1918)
    Rohan D’Souza

    4. Living Paradox in Riverine Bangladesh: Whiteheadian Perspectives on Ganga Devi and Khwaja Khijir
    Naveeda Khan

    5. Earth, Water, Salt: Amphibious Pasts of the Lower Gangetic Delta
    Sudipta Sen


    Sudipta Sen is a professor of history and Middle East/South Asia studies, University of California, Davis. He is an author of Empire of Free Trade: The English East India Company and the Making of the Colonial Marketplace (1998); Distant Sovereignty: National Imperialism and the Origins of British India (2002); Ganges: The Many Pasts of an Indian River (2019) and a co-editor of the Routledge Ocean and Island Studies book series.

    May Joseph is the founder of Harmattan Theatre and a professor of social science at Pratt Institute, and an author of the books Ghosts of Lumumba (2020); Sealog: Indian Ocean to New York (2019); Fluid New York: Cosmopolitan Urbanism and the Green Imagination (2013); and Nomadic Identities: The Performance of Citizenship (1999). Joseph is also co-editor of Performing Hybridity (1999). She co-edits three book series from Routledge: Critical Climate Studies, Ocean and Island Studies, and Kaleidoscope: Ethnography, Art, Architecture and Archaeology. Joseph creates site specific performances along Dutch and Portuguese maritime routes exploring climate issues.