Title Caring for Glaciers
Subtitle Land, Animals, and Humanity in the Himalayas
Author Karine Gagné
ISBN 9780295744001
List price GBP 23.99
Price outside India Available on Request
Original price
Binding Paperback
No of pages 258
Book size 152 x 228 mm
Publishing year 2019
Original publisher University of Washington press (Combined Academic Publishers)
Published in India by .
Exclusive distributors Viva Books Private Limited
Sales territory India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, .
Status New Arrival
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“The idea of morality serves as an axis for Gagné to bring together climate change, geopolitical tensions within and between nations, and the dilemmas of indigenous people faced with the forces of nationalism and globalization.”

Benjamin Orlove, anthropologist and professor of international and public affairs, Columbia University


“A timely and important foregrounding of the complex assemblage of human environmental relationships in the Himalayas.”

—Mona Bhan, coauthor of Climate without Nature: A Critical Anthropology of the Anthropocene


“Karine Gagné offers a perceptive and ethnographically rich monograph to the growing field of borderlands studies in high Asia and boosts our awareness of the Human-Nature bond on these margins.”

—Jean Michaud, coauthor of Frontier Livelihoods: Hmong in the Sino-Vietnamese Borderlands


Regional geopolitical processes have turned the Himalayan region of Ladakh, in northwest India, into a strategic border area with an increasing military presence that has decentered the traditional agropastoralist economy. This in turn has led to social fragmentation, the growing isolation of elders, and ethical dilemmas for those who strive to maintain traditional subsistence activities. Simultaneously, climate change is causing glaciers—a vital source of life in the region—to recede, which elders perceive as the consequence of a broken bond with the natural environment and the deities that inhabit the landscape.

Caring for Glaciers looks at the causes and consequences of ongoing social and cultural change in peoples’ relationship with the natural environment. It illuminates how relations of reciprocity - learned through everyday life and work in the mountains with the animals, glaciers, and deities that form Ladakh’s sacred geography - shape and nurture an ethics of care. Integrating contemporary studies of affect, landscape, and multispecies anthropology, Caring for Glaciers contributes to the anthropology of ethics by examining the moral order that develops through the embodied experience of life and work in the Himalayas.


Foreword by K. Sivaramakrishnan



Note on Transliteration

Introduction: Morality and an Ethics of Care in the Himalayas

Chapter 1. The Loneliness of Winter: Continuity and Change in the High Mountains

Chapter 2. Arthalis and Beyond: A Crack in the Landscape

Chapter 3. Becoming Sentinel Citizens: The Reconfiguration of Ladakh into a Border Area

Chapter 4. “Father White Glacier”: Incommensurable Temporalities and Eroding Filial Bonds

Chapter 5. Searching for Aba Stanzin: On the predicament of Herders

Chapter 6. Intimate Glaciers and an Ethics of Care: Mutual Recessions

Conclusion: As Glaciers Vanish

Glossary of Ladakhi Terms




About the Author:

Karine Gagné is assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Guelph.

Target Audience:

People interested in anthropology and geopolitics.

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