Conference on Himalayas at New School

Two-day meet will explore religion and sustainability in the region.

Bureau Report

NEW YORK: In the Himalaya, religious and environmental practice has been deeply entwined for centuries. But as urban population centers grow — and with them, ecological degradation — the region’s traditions and practices are changing in kind. In response to these transformations, the India China Institute (ICI) at The New School presents ‘Everyday Religion and Sustainable Environments in the Himalaya’, a two-day conference on March 7 and 8 that highlights current research in the Himalayan region.

The conference, in Manhattan, will bring together more than 40 international scholars for sessions addressing Identity, Materiality, and Health; Practice in Sacred Landscapes; and Connections, Provocations and Policy Implications. Speakers will include Elizabeth Alison, Anil Chitrakar, Mukta Singh Lama, Charles Ramble, and Eklabya Sharma as well as ICI fellows Li Bo, Georgina Drew, and Mahendra Lama.

“By providing a platform where leading scholars and experts can discuss key issues at the intersection of religion and sustainability, the India China Institute is not only advancing academic discourse but spurring positive action in the region,” said Ashok Gurung, ICI Director. “The availability of this knowledge on the ground will allow actors in the Himalaya to engage and address environmental policy-making with a fuller understanding of the cultural, spiritual, and historical forces at play.”

Everyday Religion and Sustainable Environments in the Himalaya is presented in conjunction with three related events. On March 6, ICI will host India-China Conversations, an invitation-only symposium that highlights the work emerging scholars from India and China supported by the institute.

Also, on the same day, ICI will screen Revealed: Himalayan Meltdown, an award-winning documentary that explores the impact of glacial ice melt on communities in Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India and Nepal. The free and public screening will be followed by a panel discussion.

Directly following Everyday Religion and Sustainable Environments in the Himalaya, on March 9 and 10, Yale University will host the a workshop on Himalayan Connections: Disciplines, Geographies, Trajectories.

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