Wednesday, 22 November 2023 | 15:30 to 17:00 EST | Room 140, HNES Building, Keele Campus, York University
With Kasia Paprocki, London School of Economics and Political Science
Discussant: Hillary Birch, Graduate Program in Environmental Studies
In the global imaginary of climate change, Bangladesh holds a prominent position. Frequently described as the ‘world’s most vulnerable country to climate change,’ the specter of Bangladesh underwater, wiped off the map by rising seas, has given birth to a crisis narrative that obscures how interventions in the environment and social life of the country have already transformed the landscape many times over. Today, development in Bangladesh is increasingly defined by and through an adaptation regime, which governs the landscape of possible intervention in anticipation of climate change. It is built on a vision of development in which urbanization and export-led growth are both desirable and inevitable. For the rural poor, this entails dispossession from agrarian livelihoods and outmigration. As this shift contributes to the expansion and production of export commodities such as garments and frozen shrimp, the threat of climate change and its associated migrations is reframed as an opportunity for development and growth. This presentation will draw on Paprocki’s book recently published book, which is based on over two years of multi-sited ethnographic fieldwork exploring how this adaptation regime is produced, experienced, and contested by a variety of actors from rural Bangladesh, to Dhaka, the Bangladeshi capital, to global institutions of development and knowledge production.
Kasia Paprocki is Associate Professor in Environment in the Department of Geography and Environment at the London School of Economics and Political Science, where she also organizes the Social Life of Climate Change initiative. She teaches and writes on the political ecology of development and agrarian change. Her work is primarily focused in South Asia, particularly Bangladesh, where she has worked and conducted research since 2006, often in collaboration with Nijera Kori, Bangladesh’s largest landless peasant movement. Her writing has been published widely in both academic and popular outlets. She is the author of Threatening Dystopias: The Global Politics of Climate Change Adaptation in Bangladesh (Cornell University Press 2021).
This in-person event is part of the Climate Dystopia series and is presented by the York Centre for Asian Research.
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