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Archive: Unruly Waters: How Rains, Rivers, Coasts, and Seas Have Shaped Asia’s History

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Buildings and dwellings along canals in Hong Kong - popup
Photo by Joseph Chan on Unsplash

Sunil Amrith

Today, in an age of climate change, Asian nations are racing to construct hundreds of dams in the Himalayas, with dire environmental impacts; hundreds of millions crowd into coastal cities threatened by cyclones and storm surges.

Unruly Waters book cover

Historian Sunil Amrith will discuss his book, Unruly Waters, in which he reimagines Asia’s history through the stories of its rains, rivers, coasts, and seas—and of the weather-watchers and engineers, mapmakers, and farmers who have sought to control them. He shows how political independence and economic development provoked efforts to reshape nature through dams and pumps and unleashed powerful tensions within and between nations.

Sunil Amrith headshot

Amrith is the Mehra Family Professor of South Asian Studies at Harvard University.

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