Climate Change and South Asia

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Call for Papers
April 18, 2023 to April 19, 2023
Hawaii, United States
Subject Fields: 
Asian History / Studies, Environmental History / Studies, South Asian History / Studies

University of Hawai‘i Mānoa Center for South Asian Studies Spring Symposium 2023 


Climate Change and South Asia


How is the global climate crisis affecting South Asia, and how are governments and communities in South Asia responding to the myriad challenges of climate change? This symposium invites scholars in the interpretive social sciences, humanities, arts, architecture, business, planning, public health, and policy studies, among others, to share research and artistic work, and join together in conversations about climate change in South Asia. Research and creative work of an interdisciplinary nature are especially encouraged. We aim to promote a richer understanding of how people are working to forge collective, inclusive, and effective solutions to this major crisis of our times. 


This symposium will be held virtually on Zoom. As our Spring Symposia are known for the connections and conversations they foster, we will make every effort to facilitate such connections in the virtual space. Keynote speakers’ presentations here at the University of Hawai‘i Mānoa will be open to local in-person audiences and livestreamed for virtual audiences as well. Interested presenters should submit a 200-word abstract by January 31, 2023, at the website linked below. 

Desired themes include, but are not limited to:


  • South Asian Perspectives on Climate Justice and Global Political Ecology
    • How are national and transnational efforts responding to global climate agreements, market-based solutions such as carbon trading, and newer frameworks such as REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation +)? Could the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technological and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC), or other organizations for international cooperation play a role here, and, if so, what should they do?
    • How have South Asian actors, from nations to civil society groups, strived to shape global climate policy? How have their efforts been influenced by contextual factors such as colonial histories, neocolonial attitudes, capitalist imperatives, and social movements? How do local specificities and universalizing global climate imperatives interact? 


  • Sociocultural Implications, Effects, and Innovations due to Climate Change
    • Climate change impacts everything, from ecosystems to infrastructure  to livelihoods, and some are already facing real, existential threats. How are threatened and vulnerable communities responding to climate change? Innovative uses of traditional and new technologies, indigenous wisdom and cultural knowledge, and reimagining cities’ planning and design—for instance, to generate efforts to preserve, restore, and maintain valued ways of living and coexisting—could be addressed here. 
    • Climate change affects all aspects of society. How do climate change-induced changes intersect with and impact issues of caste, ethnicity, class, gender, sexuality, disability, regional identities and national affiliations, etc.? 
    • Critical analyses of the potentials and limits of the preponderance of concepts such as  “resilience” and “sustainability,” interpreted in a broad sense.


  • Artistic, Literary, and Design Approaches to Climate Change
    • How are artistic, literary, and design endeavors engaging with climate change? What might be their potentials to transform state, society, and market, at multiple scales? 


Please see for further information and to submit abstracts (200 words, due January 31, 2023). If you have any questions or issues with the submission process, please email CSAS Coordinator Saloni Mahajan at Thank you for your interest, and we look forward to a vibrant conversation! 

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