Each month starting November 2017, I'll be speaking to authors about their new books in South Asian Studies, very broadly defined, on the New Books Network podcast. With over 70 "channels" dedicated to area studies, history, art, fiction, popular culture and critical theory, the NBN is a consortium of podcasts devoted to introducing authors to new and old audiences, in and outside academia.
My last interview of 2018, I spoke to anthropologist Alf Gunvald Nilsen about the Indian state’s everyday tyranny against its Bhil citizens. Nilsen’s new book Adivasis and the State: Subalternity and Citizenship in India’s Bhil Heartland parse how the deep tentacles of caste and class power embodied as the state reach into the adivasil everyday, not tethered to single issues of “development” induced displacement or the disappearing commons, but as an all-encompassing structural violence manifested in the realities of malnutrition, agricultural debt and seasonal migration. LISTEN HERE.
49.91% of India’s population was below the age of 24 in the 2011 Census. By 2020 India will become the world’s youngest country with 64% of its population in the working age group of 15-64 years. Economists anticipate this “demographic dividend” to yield as much as an additional 2% to the GDP growth rate but poor education, plummeting job opportunities and inadequate access to health care stand in the way. But who are Indian youth? What do they really want? I spoke to journalist Snigdha Poonam about her first book Dreamers: How Young Indians Are Changing the World (Harvard University Press 2018). LISTEN HERE.
After a hiatus, I spoke to historian Benjamin Robert Siegel this past October about his book Hungry Nation: Food, Famine and the Making of Modern India In his first book (Cambridge University Press 2018). LISTEN HERE.
In his first book Dispossession Without Development: Land Grabs in Neoliberal India (Oxford University Press 2018), Michael Levien explores the causes and consequences of India’s “land wars” in the contemporary neoliberal period. LISTEN HERE.
I had encountered Sumana Roy's poetry long before her prose. How I Became a Tree (Aleph 2017), elastic between genres and chronologies, was such a pleasure to read and talk about. LISTEN TO THE FULL EPISODE HERE.
As a guest host on the New Books Network's Southeast Asian Studies channel, I spoke to simpatico anthropologist Claudio Sopranzetti about his newest book Owners of the Map: Motorcycle Taxi Drivers, Mobility and Politics in Bangkok (University of California Press, 2017). LISTEN TO THE FULL EPISODE HERE.