Amrita Sen

Junior Core Fellow
Period of Stay: 
January – June 2023
Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, India
Project Title: 
A Political Ecology of Non-human Subject Making in Conservation Landscapes of India
Project Abstract: 

Political ecology has often been considered as human-centric and critiqued for its human exceptionalism, since it analyses interplays between nature conservation and social justice. In this work, I argue that political ecology has significant scope in enhancing environmental justice frameworks. To this end, the proposed project aims to explain how non-humans are constituted as political subjects in the processes of forest conservation. Drawing on observations from the Indian Sundarbans, the project aims to use a political ecology framework in elucidating how, like humans, tigers, the chief wildlife species in the Sundarbans are also subjectified within a network of regulation, control and subjugation and how justice frameworks in political ecology can situate framings on interspecies subjections. I argue that political ecology can enhance the scope of justice frameworks by accounting for subjective representations of non-humans in a political process embedded not only in power relations but also coproduced ideological practices.