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Wise men (and women) might consider it unbecoming to talk at length about one’s becoming, but in this public lecture Professor Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt will chart her ‘enchanted journey’ of becoming a feminist and, most recently, a Professor at Crawford School of Public Policy. Taking the well-trodden path that links the personal with the political, Indian-born Professor Lahiri-Dutt will describe what motivated a geographer to turn into a feminist, and what that has meant for the way she practises her crafts of teaching and research as she climbed a rather steep learning curve in Australia. A self-described ‘imposter’ who has picked up some Australian values – including a larrikin-like disregard for authority – she promises to regale the audience with interesting stories of rocks, rivers and fun on the road that has shaped her identity.
Professor Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt is one of the leading global experts in critical research on the length and breadth of gender and community livelihoods in two areas of natural resources: water and extractive industries (mining). Her research is informed by feminist scholar-activist research methodologies. Professor Lahiri-Dutt’s contributions to broadening the understanding of the gender and the social impacts of large-scale, capitalised mining industries have led to efforts in engendering community development by the mining industry. Another aspect of her work has involved reframing the debates around informal, artisanal and small-scale extractive practices of minerals. She has brought the livelihoods of mineral-dependent communities of the Global South to the forefront of global debates on political ecology and political economy of resource extraction. Most of her research was on South Asia, but she has led a number of major research projects in Indonesia, Lao PDR and Mongolia.
This lecture is the second in an inaugural Gender Institute lecture series Inspiring Women of ANU, which celebrates female academic staff at ANU who were appointed to Level E in the last round of promotions.
This event is presented by the Gender Institute and Crawford School of Public Policy, at The Australian National University.