Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
Center for Contemporary South Asia

Radhika Govindrajan — Animal Intimacies a Book Adda

Friday, September 28, 2018

2:00pm – 4:00pm

Joukowsky Forum

Reception to follow


Sarah Besky, Assistant Professor of Anthropology and International and Public Affairs, Director of Undergraduate Studies, South Asian Studies
Brian Horton
PhD Candidate in Anthropology
Alex Nading, Senior Fellow in International and Public Affairs
Aarti Sethi, Postdoctoral Fellow in International and Public Affairs

Radhika Govindrajan is assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Washington. Radhika is a cultural anthropologist who works across the fields of multispecies ethnography, environmental anthropology, the anthropology of religion, South Asian Studies, and political anthropology. Her research is motivated by a longstanding interest in understanding how human relationships with nonhumans in South Asia are variously drawn into and shape broader issues of cultural, political, and social relevance: right-wing religious nationalism; elite projects of environmental conservation and animal-rights; everyday ethical action in a time of environmental decline; and people’s struggle for social and political justice in the face of caste discrimination, patriarchal domination, and state violence and neglect.

Radhika's book Animal Intimacies (University of Chicago Press, 2018) is an ethnography of multispecies relatedness in the Central Himalayan state of Uttarakhand in India. It tells the story of how moments of everyday entanglement between the individual human and nonhuman animals whose lives crisscrossed one another’s in this mountain landscape produced an intense and intimate sense of “relatedness” between them. The book situates these discussions of multispecies relatedness in the broader context of biodiversity conservation, agrarian decline, Hindu nationalists' attempts to define the “correct” Hindu way to live ethically with animals, and a regional political movement that seeks to preserve and promote a pahari (mountain) way of life for the human and nonhuman residents of this region.         

Book Adda