Panel Title: Gender, Materiality & Development in the Himalayas: A Critical Geographic Perspective.
Panel Abstract: The Himalayan mountain region is experiencing rapid change in terms of state led development practices, urbanization, and neoliberal globalization across national divides. How do local people based on caste, class, and gender deal with these changes? What kind of new social and political subjectivities are being (re)made through rapid transformation in lives and livelihoods? How do people make sense of their place in space through these macro changes? This panel seeks to frame a situated, nuanced understanding of socio-political change in the Himalayas, by analyzing case studies of gendering, dispossession, and speculative urbanization. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork in geographic contexts ranging from the lower Himalayan districts of Kangra and Chamba in Himachal Pradesh, to the rain shadow regions of Ladakh and Spiti, and to the urban metropolis of Kathmandu in Nepal, participants in this panel will critically engage with these grand narratives of change in order to understand how it impacts everyday lives of ordinary people in the region.
Siddharth Menon, Geography Department, University of Colorado at Boulder.
Rupak Shreshtra, PhD Student, Geography Department, University of Colorado at Boulder. “Seasonal migration, dispossession, and precarity: a narrative of brick factory migrant laborers in Kathmandu, Nepal.”
Richa Shakya, MA Student, Geography Department, University of Colorado at Boulder. “Gendered identities, mobilities and home for Nepali married women.”
Anu Sabhlok, Assistant Professor, Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) Mohali, India. “Travel Infrastructures and identity in the upper Himalayas.”
Rohit Negi, Assistant Professor, School of Human Ecology, Ambedkar University Delhi (AUD), New Delhi. “The Materiality of Mobility: Urban Futures and Infrastructures in Himachal Pradesh.”