Geography Colloquium: Water in Historic Sites on Feb. 14

Geography guest speaker,Yaaminey Mubayi, will be presenting on Feb. 14 at 3:30 to 5:00pm in Classroom Building 121 on her "Water and Historic Settlements in India: The case of Ellora-Khuldabad-Daulatabad" research.

Water as an essential resource for the evolution of human settlements throughout history, has thus far, escaped the attention of scholars of history in South Asia. Contemporary research relating to the subject largely involves the examination of policy frameworks governing access to and distribution of water resources, as well as fixating on the colonial period as a “watershed” dividing pre-modern water management systems from colonial and post-colonial policies. This presentation offers a different perspective to the study of water and human history. It focuses on a historically settled and culturally active region of South Asia: Ellora-Khuldabad-Daulatabad in the Marathwada region of the Indian Deccan Plateau. It seeks to examine the ecological features, especially the presence of water, in the region as underpinning the historical and cultural development of the political, socio-economic and cultural systems intrinsic to the area. Ellora-Khuldabad-Daulatabad, lying within a 10 km radius in Aurangabad district, are richly populated by historic sites such as the Ellora Cave complex, Daulatabad Fort, and numerous smaller temples, pilgrimage centers, ashrams, Sufi dargahs and historic tanks (kunds). The theme for the region is set by the numerous water features, streams, rivulets, man-made reservoirs, temple tanks and historic state-sponsored waterworks. The micro-watershed of Khuldabad Taluka, within which the study area is located, provides an appropriate context for the evolution of human settlements in the region since pre-historic times.

 Yaaminey Mubayi is a Historian and Social Development Professional with nearly 20 years of research and field experience in the sector of Cultural Heritage and Sustainable Development. She has worked with a wide range of organizations including UNESCO and the Ministry of Culture, Government of India in the sectors of policy planning and community level research and consultation. She was part of UNESCO’s team of consultants that prepared a Culture Policy for the Department of Culture, Government of Punjab in 2014. Her book on the Jagannatha Temple, “Altar of Power: The Temple and the State in the Land of Jagannatha” was published in 2005. In 2013 she received the Senior Academic Fellowship from the Indian Council of Historical Research towards pursuing research on historic water management systems in Ellora and Daulatabad, Maharashtra, India. She is currently a Fulbright Nehru Fellow at Mount Holyoke College, MA.