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New Book by Ravi Baghel and Lea Stepan

21. Jul. 2017

Cluster Associate Member Dr. Ravi Baghel and PhD candidate Lea Stepan, together with Dr. Joseph K.W. Hill, published a new volume on water knowledge in Asia. The book titled "Water, Knowledge and the Environment in Asia. Epistemologies, Practices and Locales" was published by Routledge. It builds upon the workshop "Epistemologies of Water in Asia” organized by the Interdisciplinary Research Group “Waterscapes".

The dramatic transformation of our planet by human actions has been heralded as the coming of the new epoch of the Anthropocene. Human relations with water raise some of the most urgent questions in this regard. The starting point of the book is that these changes should not be seen as the result of monolithic actions of an undifferentiated humanity, but as emerging from diverse ways of relating to water in a variety of settings and knowledge systems.

With its large population and rapid demographic and socioeconomic change, Asia provides an ideal context for examining how varied forms of knowledge pertaining to water encounter and intermingle with one another. While it is difficult to carry out comprehensive research on water knowledge in Asia due to its linguistic, political and cultural fragmentation, the topic nevertheless has relevance across boundaries. By using a carefully chosen selection of case studies in a variety of locations and across diverse disciplines, the book demonstrates commonalities and differences in everyday water practices around Asia while challenging both, romantic presumptions and Eurocentrism.

Lea Stepan is a doctoral researcher at the Cluster “Asia and Europe” and member of the research group “MC9 Waterscapes”. She has a strong research interest in cultural ecology, particularly with regard to water scarcity and the dynamic transformation of the cultural landscape in confrontation with modernization, global circulating knowledge systems and power networks in Bali, Indonesia (MC 9.3).

Dr. Ravi Baghel, an Associate Member of the Cluster “Asia and Europe”, was part of the first generation of the Graduate Program in Transcultural Studies and was involved in the projects “C2 Großstaudämme”, “MC9 Waterscapes” and “Himalayan Glaciers”. He is currently working as a postdoctoral researcher at Trier University.

For further information, please visit the publisher's website.


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