Institutt for sosialantropologi
bsas seminar

Camelia Dewan: Climate Change as a ‘Spice’: Brokering Environmental Knowledge

The Department of Social Anthropology is happy to announce the upcoming seminar with Camelia Dewan at SAI, UiO.

En eldre mann står i et oversvømmet område og ser utover
Probal Rashid


Climate Change as a ‘Spice’: Brokering Environmental Knowledge

This article deconstructs the knowledge production of climate change in the development industry, using the case of climate adaptation projects in southwest coastal Bangladesh. It does so by theorising the metaphor of climate change as a spice to attract donor funding, and how this requires active translation by specific assemblages of heterogeneous development brokers, to create a joint meaning and reading of climate change for specific development interventions.

It problematises how such translations tend to be climate reductive as climate change is framed as causing all the problems the project seeks to solve, thereby reproducing silences on pressing environmental problems, including the health of rivers and water bodies vital for coastal livelihoods. The article highlights how Bangladeshi development brokers compartmentalise their knowledge of local environmental complexity by code-switching between Bangla and English and contributes to anthropological debates on development, expertise and epistemic environmental politics.

climate adaptation, development, aidnography, environment, embankments, rivers


Short bio

Camelia Dewan is an environmental anthropologist focusing on development, political ecology, the epistemic politics of climate change, food and food production, rural livelihoods and human-other-than-human relations in deltaic waterscapes.

Dewan is currently a a postdoctoral fellow on the Norwegian Research Council-funded project (Dis)Assembling the Life Cycle of Containerships at SAI, UiO where she will examine shipbreaking in Bangladesh and its relations to precarious labour and toxic environments.


Light refreshments will be served in the Corner Room after the talk. All interested are welcome!