University of Hyderabad
Nabanita Samanta is a graduate student pursuing Master's in Sociology at the University of Hyderabad, India. Her research involves inter/intra-section of ‘ecology’, ‘society’ and the ‘self’ (broadly conceived). While reckoning the endeavour of ‘knowing’ as intrinsically entangled with the practices of ‘being’ and the pursuit of ‘ethics’, Nabanita strives towards traversing the intertwined realms of the ecological, the existential and the axiological, thereby engaging with the pressing exigencies through creative yet critical deliberations. With a distinctive leaning towards transdisciplinary research, her interests and engagements cut across different (although inextricably intra-woven) thematic thrusts, for instance: political ecology, environmental humanities and ecosophy; hydro-sociality, onto-epistemology of water, and water governance; oceanic studies and marine (social) sciences; coastal commons and decentralized fisheries governance; critical agrarian studies, agroecology, regenerative agriculture, and food sovereignty; ecological-social-spatial justice, ecopedagogy, and anthropology of ethics etc. For her current work, Nabanita has been engaging with the lifeworld(s) of the coastal communities (most specifically, the small-scale marine fishers) inhabiting the shifting seascape of Purba Medinipur district of West Bengal (India). Bringing together insights from Decolonial Political Ecology, Critical Agrarian Studies, Marine and Coastal Social Sciences, she seeks to situate her work as a generative entry-point for spelling out the intricate interplay of space, power, agency and resistance that contour the everydayness of life at the edge of water. While fixing her analytical gaze on the complex matrix of vulnerability and viability, of ruptures and resilience as entailed in the coastal lifeworlds, she posits her ethnographic enterprise on this front as an attempt to interrogate, narrativize and critique the large-scale social-spatial and ecological re-structuring induced by the burgeoning technocapitalistic ventures gaining momentum under the aegis of ‘blue economy’. Nabanita is also a permanent volunteer of DISHA (DISHA, Society for Direct Initiatives for Social and Health Action, is an activist organization involved in environmental activism, advocacy, and conservation; and DISHA has been remarkably active in protecting the rights of the small-scale fishing communities across and beyond West Bengal).