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University of Oregon

Publication Date

Fall 2022

Program Name

Nepal: Tibetan and Himalayan Peoples


My project is asking in what ways climate change is impacting monuments in the developing world using case studies in India? The project will be a survey of sites occupying different positions in environment, religion, and history in order to assess the multitude of threats on cultural heritage created and/or exacerbated by climate change. The Taj Mahal (17th century) will be assessed in order to discuss the impacts of air pollution associated with an urban environ ment and drought along the Yamuna river, using a widely known icon of India to serve as a visualization of slow violence taking place throughout India. The next monument discussed will be the Alchi Chos Khor Monastery (11th century) which is currently threatened by historically unprecedented rainfall. The Monastery will also open the discussion into approaches to conservation and restoration in the Himalaya as well as the ‘unimagining of cultures’ within an agenda of national development. Finally, the paper will be concluded by the Old Goa complex (16th century) which is threatened by sea level rise and the intensification of annual monsoons. The Basilica will serve as an entry point into contemplating rising tides and urbanization as well as the role of the government of India in conservation and the ways in which the institutions that created the problems driving climate change may not be the ones to solve them. Each monument has been chosen because it maintains a heritage essential- and entirely unique- for preservation within their given contexts and history. Each site provides the opportunity to discuss wider ranging themes and ask questions about preservation, conservation, and heritage globally.


Architectural History and Criticism | Asian Art and Architecture | Asian Studies | Climate | Environmental Indicators and Impact Assessment | Historic Preservation and Conservation | Place and Environment


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