This panel hopes to bring together scholars working on Adivasi histories to explore how Adivasis, who are located in worlds that were transformed by modernity and colonialism, and now by the Indian state, cope with the everyday.
Since the late 1980s, Adivasis, as marginalized groups, are increasingly coming into focus in academic research. And yet, for the Adivasis, who are located in worlds that were transformed by modernity and colonialism and now by the Indian state, coping with the everyday is often a challenge. At times, they are vulnerable subjects of 'progress' and development whilst at other times they are able to exercise agency and negotiate the structures of dominance. This panel hopes to bring together scholars working on Adivasi histories from different perspectives. We use the word 'landscapes' not in a narrow geographical sense but leave it open for interpretation by the panelists. Some of the questions that we would like to raise are as follows: How did colonialism bring about transformations in Adivasi worlds and the links with their forests and fields? How do different actors position themselves within the paradigm of development as the Indian state, in conjunction with private capital, brings together new modes of extraction through mining and industrial projects or forestry schemes? How do we read Adivasi movements in colonial and postcolonial times and how does a politics of resistance enable the Adivasis to be critical of the state and yet engage with it? Finally, in what ways do Adivasis recall their past, relocate and reinvent it? The panel hopes to re-configure the analytical terrains on which Adivasi histories are premised.