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Type: Journal article
Title: Crossing the Indian Ocean and wading through the littoral: cosmopolitan visions in Amitav Ghosh’s ‘antique land’ and ‘tide country’
Author: Samuelson, M.
Citation: Cultural Dynamics, 2012; 24(2-3):189-205
Publisher: SAGE
Issue Date: 2012
ISSN: 0921-3740
Statement of
Meg Samuelson
Abstract: This article traces the cosmopolitan structures Amitav Ghosh retrieves from the medieval Indian Ocean world and those he forges along the South Asian littoral in an era of climate change in the narrative works In an Antique Land and The Hungry Tide. Both turn to the Indian Ocean and its coastal delta in search of the permeability that characterises the littoral and the syncretic and/or dialogic cultural and life forms emerging along it, which stand in contrast to geopolitical boundaries and species borders. In this social, political and ecological space they locate a cosmopolitanism that interweaves, elaborates and exceeds the three principle threads in cosmopolitan thought. Reconceiving cosmopolitanism from the South in the ‘Anthropocene Age’, Ghosh – it is argued – pushes beyond the political limits of the ‘citizen of the world’ while immersing this concept in the mud of a local – sticky yet fluid – ecosystem.
Keywords: Borders; climate change; cosmopolitanism; environment; global South; In an Antique Land; Indian Ocean; Sundarbans; The Hungry Tide; trade
Rights: © The Author(s) 2012
DOI: 10.1177/0921374013482383
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Appears in Collections:Anthropology & Development Studies publications
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