ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Anthropocene in the Himalayas

The Living Mountainby Amitav Ghosh, HarperCollins India, 2022; pp xiii+35, ` 399 (hardcover).

Entangled Lives: Human-Animal-Plant Histories of the Eastern Himalayan Triangle by Joy L K Pachuau and Willem van Schendel, New Delhi: Cambridge University Press, 2022; pp xiv+363, ` 1,256 (hardcover).

The reviewer aims to highlight the contending issues of anthropogenic and environmental degradation in the Himalayas through two books—The Living Mountain and Entangled Lives: Human-Animal-Plant Histories of the Eastern Himalayan Triangle. It
intends to shed light on new research frontiers and theoretical and methodological approaches to environmental studies beyond the mainstream human-centric approaches.

Anthropocene, climate change, and environmental degradation—some of the most serious challenges as well as widely discussed topics—have significantly shaped our academic debates in contemporary times. The idea of anthropocene is perhaps a widely debated concept and they are yet around as to what we actually mean by the word “anthropocene.” Geologists Paul Crutzen and Eugene Stoermer (2000) offered their colleagues an improved designation for the contemporary epoch. According to Crutzen, “the term ‘Anthropocene’ describes the idea of a new geological era shaped by deep interventions into nature by humans as biological and geological agents” (Möllers 2014). It is basically centred on the beginning of a new era (announced unofficially) where human is put as an immediate threat to the environment than ever before. Therefore, the idea of anthropocene is basically related to the concept of time and space that humans have created in their interaction (exploitation) with nature. Olson and Messeri (2015: 28) in this context defined “the Anthropocene as not only a concept of time but also a concept of space framed by a sense of inhabiting an environmental predicament that humans have made and now exist inside.” Collectively, the proponents of anthopocene single out that we have entered the age of anthropocene, otherwise known as the age of human (Victor 2023). However, the idea of anthropocene is not universal as it needs to be defined in terms of its regional usages and implications. Therefore, major challenges in the study of anthropocene are about defining the different kinds of people that exhibits differential role in the earth. Who are more “anthropoi”? We take two books to highlight the case of human–environment relationship in the Himalayas and the way humans are perceived, defined, and imagined.

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Updated On : 12th Jun, 2023
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