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History Forum: "Blood and Water: Nature, Sovereignty and India's Partition"

David Gilmartin is one of the foremost historians of modern South Asia, particularly on the subject of the partition of India and the creation of Pakistan in 1947. He will be discussing the research from his most recent book, Blood and Water: The Indus River Basin in Modern History, which examines the intersection between environmental and political history over the last 200 years.

The environmental history of South Asia is a burgeoning field. Gilmartin is a leading proponent, and his new study of irrigation in the Indus Basin compellingly demonstrates the impact that human-driven environmental change can have on political structures. In a dry country, controlling water flows has been key to statecraft. His narrative spans from mid-nineteenth century British canal digging to the market-driven neo-liberalization of Pakistan's water economy during the 1990s. Gilmartin argues that changing, often conflicting, visions of water control were key to state power during and after colonial rule.


Chambers Hance Auditorium (CHAM-4121)

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Veltri, Lee A