Scholars

Photo of Megnaa Mehtta

Megnaa Mehtta

University College London
United Kingdom
Email m.mehtta [at] sheffield [period/dot] ac.uk

Megnaa Mehtta is an environmental anthropologist with an interest in values, mythologies, and ideas of well-being as these themes intersect with debates in the environmental humanities, political ecology and understandings of the Anthropocene. She is currently working on a book manuscript titled Conserving Life: Political Imaginaries from a Submerging Forest based on long-term ethnographic fieldwork in the mangrove forests of the Sundarbans of India and Bangladesh. Megnaa received her PhD in Social Anthropology from the London School of Economics in 2020, before which she studied at Yale University, Delhi University and the University of Cape Town. Alongside her academic writing, Megnaa mediates between a range of environmental stakeholders, including lawyers, activists, filmmakers and government bureaucrats, with the aim of working towards locating specific fault lines and debates within conservation practices, as well as convivial forms of learning across regions, disciplines and forms of intervention.

Megnaa Mehtta’s Website.

Publications

Megnaa Mehtta. Dec 2022 (forthcoming) “Nonhuman Governance: Care and Violence in South Asian Animism in Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East.” In Vol. 42 No. 3

Megnaa Mehtta. (2022). “The Production of Vulnerability: Generating Aquaculture Profits by Preying on Poverty in the Sundarbans in India in Transition.” CASI and re-published in Scroll.

Megnaa Mehtta. 2021. “A Licence to Kill in the Sundarbans.” An essay in the journal-magazine The India Forum entitled which argues for the ongoing harassment as a result of colonial-era licences which the depoliticized work of conservation and climate-adaptation in India is unable to tackle.

Megnaa Mehtta. 2021. “Crab Antics: The moral and political economy of greed accusations in the submerging Sundarbans Delta of West Bengal, India.” In the Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute (JRAI). Volume 27 Issue 3.

Megnaa Mehtta, Christopher Edmonds, Illan Noy, & Pabitra Banik. 2021. “The Climate (Ir)resilient Society of the Indian Sundarbans: Tropical Cyclones, Sea Level Rise, and Mortality Risk.” In The Palgrave Handbook of Climate Resilient Societies.

Megnaa Mehtta. (2020). “A New Crisis and an Old Conversation: Reflections on Quotidian Care in the Sundarbans.” In American Ethnologist Pandemic Diaries on Intersecting Crises.

Megnaa Mehtta & Debjani Bhattacharyya (2020). “Is concrete the way forward in rebuilding the Sundarbans?” In The Telegraph.

Megnaa Mehtta. (2019). “Ugly Emotions and the Politics of Accusations.”  Volume 37, Issue 2 at the Cambridge Journal of Anthropology.

Megnaa Mehtta. (2019).  “A Forest of Refuge, or a Forest of Refugees? Moral Valences of Risky Work in the Sundarbans of India.” In the edited volume The Tides of Life: A Sundarbans Anthology