Empire and Ecology in the Bengal Delta - pr_246707

Empire and Ecology in the Bengal Delta

The Making of Calcutta

By Debjani Bhattacharyya

Hardback

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What happens when a distant colonial power tries to tame an unfamiliar terrain in the world's largest tidal delta? This history of dramatic ecological changes in the Bengal Delta from 1760 to 1920 involves land, water and humans, tracing the stories and struggles that link them together. Pushing beyond narratives of environmental decline, Bhattacharyya argues that 'property-thinking', a governing tool critical in making land and water discrete categories of bureaucratic and legal management, was at the heart of colonial urbanization and the technologies behind the draining of Calcutta. The story of ecological change is narrated alongside emergent practices of land speculation and transformation in colonial law. Bhattacharyya demonstrates how this history continues to shape our built environments with devastating consequences, as shown in the Bay of Bengal's receding coastline.

Product code: 9781108425742

ISBN 9781108425742
Dimensions (HxWxD in mm) H235xW158xS17
No. Of Pages 254
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Series Studies in Environment and History
What happens when a distant colonial power tries to tame an unfamiliar terrain in the world's largest tidal delta? This history, which spans from 1760 to 1920, demonstrates how colonial property law and hydraulic engineering transformed the ecology of the Bengal delta to drain Calcutta.