Amy Leigh Johnson
Department of Government and Sociology
Georgia College and State University
Amy Leigh Johnson is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Georgia College and State University. Her research focuses on the everyday experience of environmental and political change in South Asia, with a particular focus on lowland environments within the Nepal Himalaya. Using a person and place-entered ethnographic approach, Amy is interested in the gradual seditimization of political and environmental changes in social life as a way to ground theorisation of rural futures in South Asia. Amy completed her Ph.D. in Environmental Anthropology from Yale University in December 2020 and is a graduate of Yale's Combined Degree in Anthropology and the School of the Environment. She was formerly a Research Fellow at Northumbria University's Department of Geography and Environmental Sciences.
Malaria eradication arrived in Nepal in the 1950s as part of a global initiative to make malarial landscapes available for land reclamation and universal settlement. This article situates period reports from World Health Organization personnel involved in the Nepal Malaria Eradication Organization alongside testimonies from two malaria eradication workers from the country's Farwestern Tarai region to disentangle the socioecological and political effects of Nepal's malaria eradication project in its formative years. By concentrating on the labor of malaria eradication—focused on geographic reconnaissance and indoor residual spraying and the employment of laborers of diverse caste and ethnic backgrounds—the author argues that the project helped generate a settler sensibility toward the Nepal Tarai, transforming the forests and grasslands into a domesticated, development-ready village landscape. Applying insights from settler studies to a formally non-colonized nation-state, Nepal, the article highlights settlerism as a practice extending beyond the geography of European-American imperialism and embeds Nepal's malaria eradication program within the colonial landscape of Northern South Asia.
Johnson, Amy. 2023. "Settler Sensibilities and Environmental Change: Unmaking Malarial Landscapes in Nepal." The Journal of Asian Studies 82(4): 639-662.