• B-2, GF, Nizamuddin East, New Delhi 110 013


Seminar - Silent Whispers: Cosmologies, Nature-Human Relationship and Ecological Distress in Northeast India (NEI)

Two Days Seminar on “Silent Whispers: Cosmologies, Nature-Human Relationship and Ecological Distress in Northeast India (NEI)”
Date: 13th -14th December 2022
Venue: Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

This is an NCI Academic Activty Grant funded project for 2022.

The goal of the seminar is to bring together PhD-students and researchers from Norway and India who study the Northeast India from perspectives t hat are at the forefront of scholarly development within the social sciences, as well as at the center of political attention. The relation between human and nature is an important topic that has followed the social sciences, and especially anthropology since the inception. However, in the last two decades the question has been radicalized by the ontological turn, posing the question to which degree people inhabit different worlds according to their world views. Even more important, has been the discovery and acknowledgement of indigenous cosmologies as sources of deep knowledge about the human-nature relation, which we should not only study, but learn from. At the same time, the question of severe and threatening ecological degradation has may be become the most urgent political and scholarly issue, both through accelerating global climate change and a host of threatening local ecological disasters. At the intersection of these two issues, there has arisen the quest for alternatives, or the possibility of envisaging and imagining radical different ways of inhabiting and living in the nature which is not ecological detrimental.

The core University of Bergen team consists of Manimala Chanu Asem and Thorvald Sirnes. Manimala is a Phd- student at the Department of Social Anthropology and a native of her study area, the area where the Lok Tak is situated in Manipur. She also has a master degree from JNU. Sirnes is professor at the Center for the Study of Sciences and the Humanities (SVT), and has done extensive field work in India among the Nagababas of the Juna Akhara. Their partner at the University of Oslo, Arne Johan Vetlesen, is a philosopher who has written extensively on the human-nature relation, using anthropological litterature. At the Jawharlal Nehru University partners are situated at the Special Centre for the Study of North East India, represented by Dr. Khuraijam Bijoykumar Singh. Both the partners from UiO and JNU represent the foremost expertise in their areas.


1) Lukumoni Sonowal, JNU
2) Subarna Moni Pradhan, University of Sikkim
3) Swatahsiddha Sarkar, University of North Bengal
4) Anisha Gogoi, JNU
5) V. Bijukumar, JNU
6) Susi Yensembam, Manipur  University 
7) Sanjay Kumar, JNU
8) Arne Johan Vetlesen, University of Oslo
9) Thorvald Sirnes, University of Bergen 
10) Manimala Chanu Asem, University of Bergen


1) A. Bimol Akoijam, JNU
2) Sucharita Sengupta, Jamia Millia Islamia
3) Usham Rojio, Central University of Karnataka 
4) Kaushal Kumar Sharma, JNU
5) Anshu, University of Delhi
6) Sanjeev Sharma, JNU
7) Tiplut Nongbri, JNU
8) Papia Sengupta, JNU
9) KH Anjalee Devi, Sharda University 
10) Bikramaditya Kumar Choudhary, JNU
11) Vikas Dubey, Ashoka University 
12) Ramila Bisht, JNU
13) Elumalai Kanan, JNU
14) Sikha Dutta, Lovely University 
15) Bhagat Oinam, JNU
16) Thongkholal Haokip, JNU