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Becoming Organic: Nature and Agriculture in the Indian Himalaya, by Shaila Seshia Galvin
Just after the turn of the new millennium, in 2003, the newly created state of Uttarakhand in India’s central Himalayas declared its ambition to become fully organic in all aspects of agricultural production. But what does it mean to become organic in a region where many people claim agriculture has always been “organic by default”? Tracing the social and bureaucratic life of organic quality as it is produced in Uttarakhand, this talk decenters commonly held understandings that hold up organic as a property of land and its produce. I show instead how organic may be more fully understood as a quality that is historically and socially produced and assembled within relationships forged between farmers, state authorities, private corporations, and new agrarian intermediaries, and that affirms, even as it seeks to rework, enduring distinctions between nature and agriculture in India.

Oct 4, 2021 11:00 AM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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