This collection of essays takes an interdisciplinary approach to the ecological, social, economic and, in particular, the cultural dimensions of the Australia-India relationship. The essays provide many levels of focus on environment, place and ...
culture. Some evoke appreciation of particular 'places', either in India or Australia. Many explore how literature has treated 'landscape', while some are comparative studies of cultural, historical and political development. The essays arise from a particular gathering of scholars: The East India chapter of the Indian Association for the Study of Australia (IASA) held its inaugural international conference in Kolkata on 22-23 January 2009. Much of the work is comparative, exploring common Indian and Australian themes of colonial and postcolonial experience, implications of migration and diaspora, and shared language and literature. The work also explores shared environmental crisis, manifest in landscapes such as the Mouths of the Ganges and Australia's Murray Darling Basin. Such comparisons indicate our shared experience of the 'crisis' of ecological, social, economic and cultural sustainability. As human future is colonized through environmental degradation, and determined by human migration and shared culture and values, our relationship to 'place' is revitalized and reassessed. We seek simultaneously a reconciliation between humans and a realignment of the human-nature relationship. This is the most basic meaning of social and ecological sustainability.