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Publications (10 of 52) Show all publications
Karlsson, B. G. (2022). Destroying one's own home: resource frontiers and indigenous governance in Northeast India. Contemporary South Asia, 30(2), 298-300
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Destroying one's own home: resource frontiers and indigenous governance in Northeast India
2022 (English)In: Contemporary South Asia, ISSN 0958-4935, E-ISSN 1469-364X, Vol. 30, no 2, p. 298-300Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article is part of a Book Forum review of Sanjib Baruah's book In the Name of the Nation: India and its Northeast (2020). The Book Forum consists of individual commentaries on this text by five interested scholars, followed by a response by the author. The article may be read individually or alongside the other contributions to the Forum, which together constitute a comprehensive discussion of the themes and arguments in the book.

Keywords
Sovereignty, kinship, resource frontier, indigeneity and hybrid regimes
National Category
Social and Economic Geography Other Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-204836 (URN)10.1080/09584935.2022.2060344 (DOI)000786392800001 ()
Available from: 2022-05-20 Created: 2022-05-20 Last updated: 2022-05-20Bibliographically approved
Karlsson, B. G. (2022). The imperial weight of tea: on the politics of plants, plantations and science. Geoforum, 130, 105-114
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The imperial weight of tea: on the politics of plants, plantations and science
2022 (English)In: Geoforum, ISSN 0016-7185, E-ISSN 1872-9398, Vol. 130, p. 105-114Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The cultivation of tea has had major impact on societies and environments across the world. It has been the cause of imperial wars, colonial appropriations of territories and capitalist exploitation of people and ecologies. In this article, I am particularly concerned with the British empire of tea, what preceded it and its afterlife in the former colonies. Research on tea within the social sciences and humanities have mainly concentrated on the precarious situation of plantation laborers. Informed by recent scholarship in multispecies- and critical plant studies, I seek to trace the intimate relations between people and plants. Taking a cue from James C. Scott’s “grain hypothesis,” I suggest an “imperial crop hypothesis” asking if there are any particular attributes of the tea plant that lend itself to imperial ambitions. In this I straddle between a political ecology concerned with power, resources and infrastructures that enabled the British to establish its empire of tea, and a multispecies approach that foregrounds the entangled ecologies of plant life. I concentrate on four particular moments of this history: the British “discovery” of tea grown by indigenous peoples in the hills of the newly annexed Ahom kingdom in the early 19th century; the establishment of the Assam plantations during second half of the 19th century; the travel of tea across the Indian Ocean and the making of Kenyan tea industry during the 20th century; and, finally, the development of purple tea, a new variety of tea projected as the tea plant for the 21st century.

Keywords
India, Kenya, Tea plantations, Purple tea, Multispecies studies
National Category
Social Anthropology
Research subject
Social Anthropology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-199711 (URN)10.1016/j.geoforum.2021.07.017 (DOI)000820442300011 ()2-s2.0-85111492123 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2021-12-13 Created: 2021-12-13 Last updated: 2022-08-24Bibliographically approved
Karlsson, B. G. (2021). Carbon Fantasies: Intimate Stories from a Resource Frontier [Review]. Economic and Political Weekly, LVI(18), 28-29
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Carbon Fantasies: Intimate Stories from a Resource Frontier
2021 (English)In: Economic and Political Weekly, ISSN 0012-9976, Vol. LVI, no 18, p. 28-29Article, book review (Other academic) Published
Keywords
coal, oil, resource extraction, violence, love
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Social Anthropology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-199734 (URN)
Note

Publicerad May 1, 2021.

Available from: 2021-12-14 Created: 2021-12-14 Last updated: 2021-12-14Bibliographically approved
Karlsson, B. G. & Rabo, A. (2021). Introduction. In: Bengt G. Karlsson; Annika Rabo (Ed.), Seedways: The Circulation, Control and care of Plants in a Warming World (pp. 7-20). Stockholm: Kungliga Vitterhetsakademien
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Introduction
2021 (English)In: Seedways: The Circulation, Control and care of Plants in a Warming World / [ed] Bengt G. Karlsson; Annika Rabo, Stockholm: Kungliga Vitterhetsakademien , 2021, p. 7-20Chapter in book (Other academic)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Kungliga Vitterhetsakademien, 2021
Series
Kungliga Vitterhetsakademien Konferenser, ISSN 0348-1433 ; 104
Keywords
seed, seeds, climate change, agriculture, food
National Category
Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified
Research subject
Social Anthropology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-199737 (URN)978-91-88763-21-1 (ISBN)
Available from: 2021-12-14 Created: 2021-12-14 Last updated: 2021-12-14Bibliographically approved
Karlsson, B. G. (2021). Life and Death in the Plantation: Tea and the travel of seeds, plants and science across the Indian Ocean. In: Bengt G. Karlsson; Annika Rabo (Ed.), Seedways: The Circulation, Control and Care of Plants in a Warming World (pp. 121-144). Stockholm: Kungliga Vitterhetsakademien
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Life and Death in the Plantation: Tea and the travel of seeds, plants and science across the Indian Ocean
2021 (English)In: Seedways: The Circulation, Control and Care of Plants in a Warming World / [ed] Bengt G. Karlsson; Annika Rabo, Stockholm: Kungliga Vitterhetsakademien , 2021, p. 121-144Chapter in book (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In this essay I seek to retrace the movement of the tea plant (Camellia sinensis var. assamica) from the forest to the plantation, and from Assam across the Indian Ocean to East Africa and the Kenyan highlands. As the plant has moved it has been altered to suit demands for higher productivity, as well as to suit soil and climatic conditions in new locations. One of the more significant results of such plant breeding efforts in Kenya is the release of the tea clone TRFK 306/1, popularly known as “purple tea”. Purple tea is a new variety of the plant that Singphos and other indigenous communi- ties cultivated in the Assam forest and adjoining areas of highland Burma and Yunnan, China. My aim here is to explore the interaction of people and plants, and to think about what happens when plants travel. Such movements are usually in the form of travelling seed. How do plants thrive when they land up in a foreign setting, and what is gained and lost in the migration?

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Kungliga Vitterhetsakademien, 2021
Series
Kungliga Vitterhetsakademien Konferenser, ISSN 0348-1433 ; 104
Keywords
Plantations, tea, Purple tea, seed, mobile plants, Kenya, India
National Category
Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified
Research subject
Social Anthropology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-199738 (URN)978-91-88763-21-1 (ISBN)
Available from: 2021-12-14 Created: 2021-12-14 Last updated: 2021-12-14Bibliographically approved
Karlsson, B. G. & Rabo, A. (Eds.). (2021). Seedways: The Circulation, Control and Care of Plants in a Warming World. Stockholm: Kungliga Vitterhetsakademien
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Seedways: The Circulation, Control and Care of Plants in a Warming World
2021 (English)Collection (editor) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This book is about seeds and why and how seeds matter today, as in the past. Under the main headings Biopower, Agrobiodiversity, Circulation/mobility, and Seeds and their caretakers, the human-seed relationship is explored from different viewpoints. In a historical perspective the co-evolution of plants and humans can be traced through myths, rituals and cultural practices. In our present-day world of accelerating climate change, expansion of monocultural plantations and loss of biodiversity, collecting, saving and securing seeds has become a global concern. The ritual significance of seeds, seed control and agricultural development, and official policies versus cultural practices are among the themes discussed. Engaging with seeds also raises critical political questions about control over the material basis of our existence, that is, the main food crops.

The volume is the result of a two-day international symposium held at the Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities in Stockholm 2018.

Authors: Guntra A. Aistara, Kaj Århem, Roy Ellen, L. Jamila Haider, Tracey Heatherington, Bengt G. Karlsson, Dolly Kikon, Matti W. Leino, Birgit Müller, Rebecca Öhnfeldt, Annika Rabo, Ola Tveitereid Westengen & Rami Zurayk

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Kungliga Vitterhetsakademien, 2021. p. 237
Series
Kungl. Vitterhets historie och antikvitets akademien Konferenser, ISSN 0348-1433 ; 104
Keywords
seed, climate change, crop improvement, power, agrarian change
National Category
Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified
Research subject
Social Anthropology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-199735 (URN)
Available from: 2021-12-14 Created: 2021-12-14 Last updated: 2021-12-14Bibliographically approved
Kikon, D. & Karlsson, B. G. (2020). Light Skin and Soft Skills: Training Indigenous Migrants for the Hospitality Sector in India. Ethnos, 85(2), 258-275
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Light Skin and Soft Skills: Training Indigenous Migrants for the Hospitality Sector in India
2020 (English)In: Ethnos, ISSN 0014-1844, E-ISSN 1469-588X, Vol. 85, no 2, p. 258-275Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In a recruitment centre in Dimapur, Nagaland, indigenous youth are trained for employment as service personnel in luxury hotels, restaurants and airlines. Most of them are unemployed, seeking new future prospects outside the region and the harsh existence of subsistence agriculture. English language skills, a general cosmopolitan outlook and their fair complexion have proven key assets in securing work within the new hospitality industry. In this article, we deal with the activities at the recruitment centre itself, looking at the skill sets - the 'soft skills' - and habitus that the instructors try to instill in the participants to make them employable. We apply the notion of 'affective labour'. Such labour is all about care, or more precisely in this context, caring for customers. But care also has a wider resonance in the lives of the young migrants, that is, to care for the family, community and ancestral lands back home.

Keywords
Indigenous youth, migration, hospitality work, affective labour, soft skills, race, Nagaland, India
National Category
Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-179477 (URN)10.1080/00141844.2018.1543717 (DOI)000512641200005 ()
Available from: 2020-03-11 Created: 2020-03-11 Last updated: 2022-03-23Bibliographically approved
Kikon, D. & Karlsson, B. G. (2019). Leaving the land: indigenous migration and affective labour in India. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Leaving the land: indigenous migration and affective labour in India
2019 (English)Book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

During the last decade, indigenous youth from Northeast India have migrated in large numbers to the main cities of metropolitan India to find work and study. This migration is facilitated by new work opportunities in the hospitality sector, mainly as service personnel in luxury hotels, shopping malls, restaurants and airlines. Prolonged armed conflicts, militarization, a stagnant economy, corrupt and ineffective governance structures, and the harsh conditions of subsistence agriculture in their home villages or small towns impel the youth to seek future prospects outside their home region. English language skills, a general cosmopolitan outlook as well as a non-Indian physical appearance have proven to be key assets in securing work within the new hospitality industry. Leaving the Land traces the migratory journeys of these youths and engage with their new lives in cities like Bangalore, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Thiruvananthapuram.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019. p. 155
Keywords
migration, ursprungsfolk, Indien
National Category
Social and Economic Geography
Research subject
Social Anthropology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-199656 (URN)10.1017/9781108637817 (DOI)9781108494427 (ISBN)9781108637817 (ISBN)
Funder
Swedish Research Council
Available from: 2021-12-13 Created: 2021-12-13 Last updated: 2023-11-24Bibliographically approved
Karlsson, B. G. (2019). Theory from the hills. The Highlander: Journal of Highland Asia, 1(1), 26-30
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Theory from the hills
2019 (English)In: The Highlander: Journal of Highland Asia, E-ISSN 2632-0541, Vol. 1, no 1, p. 26-30Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Highlander suggests that geography, and especially, altitude matters. And indeed things look different depending on where you stand. Climb a mountain and the perspective changes as does the landscape itself; the flora, fauna, smells, the air and much more change. High altitude gives a sense of clarity, you can see further out in the distance, things otherwise hidden reveal itself and patterns, traces, paths emerge. It is perhaps no surprise that mountains are places of introspection and spiritual quests. Yet again how altitude matters in a more precise manner in the workings of society is harder to tell. James C. Scott famously argues that hills are difficult to govern and therefore allow for more egalitarian, democratic and non-state types of polities to flourish (2009). His take on “Zomia”, originally proposed by Willem van Schendel, has encouraged scholars to think regions, and geography more generally, outside the dominant framework of nation-states. For Scott, the hills carry a political vision of an anarchist or acephalous society. Indeed, we need to be reminded that another world is possible. Zomia is a powerful image for this.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Edinburgh: , 2019
Keywords
theorizing, hills, Northeast india
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Social Anthropology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-199703 (URN)10.2218/thj.v1.2019.4187 (DOI)
Available from: 2021-12-13 Created: 2021-12-13 Last updated: 2022-02-25Bibliographically approved
Karlsson, B. G. (2018). After political ecology: New directions in the anthropology of the environment. Anthropology Today, 34(2), 22-24
Open this publication in new window or tab >>After political ecology: New directions in the anthropology of the environment
2018 (English)In: Anthropology Today, ISSN 0268-540X, E-ISSN 1467-8322, Vol. 34, no 2, p. 22-24Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This book review article probes present anthropological engagement with the environment through the prism of political ecology, placing political ecology in conversation with newer work in environmnetal anthropology. In situating this conversation, the reviewer draws on four recent anthropological monographs that, in one way or another, deal with aspects of nature'. The four monographs are Tania Murray Li's (2014) Land's end: Capitalist relations on an indigenous frontier; Marianne Elisabeth Lien's (2015) Becoming salmon: Aquaculture and the domestication of fish; Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing's (2015) The mushroom at the end of the world: On the possibility of life in capitalist ruin; and, lastly, Marisol de la Cadena's (2015) Earth beings: Ecologies of practice across Andean worlds. As I suggest, political ecology requires a radical remake, perhaps a political ecology 2.0, which brings in nature in a new way and makes the category of the political more inclusive.

National Category
Social Anthropology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-155966 (URN)10.1111/1467-8322.12422 (DOI)000429415700007 ()2-s2.0-85045255906 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2018-05-16 Created: 2018-05-16 Last updated: 2022-04-06Bibliographically approved
Organisations
Identifiers
ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0002-2839-4297

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