Research | Articles & Other Publications
Published scholarly articles and conference presentations
"Politicising ESE in postcolonial settings: the power of historical responsibility, action and ethnography," Environmental Education Research, February 2019
This article argues that the mission of Environmental and Sustainability Education (ESE) is inherently political and that, by not acknowledging this, ESE interventions risk becoming part of the problem of sustainability rather than the solution. The article offers a theoretical framework for thinking about the (de)politicising effects of ESE rooted in three key elements: historical responsibility, action and the postcolonial condition. This framework builds on Ricoeur’s phenomenology, Arendt’s theory of action and the work of postcolonial scholars in arguing for a grounded understanding of ESE, which necessitates the use of ethnographic methods in ESE research.
"Ethically scaling up interventions in educational development: a case for collaborative multi-sited ethnographic research," Comparative Education 54:3 (2018)
Educational interventions are often administered at scale in diverse settings as part of international development programmes. Their implementation is subject to a linear process that begins with finding out ‘what works’ at a local level, frequently through the use of randomised controlled trials, and continues with rolling out the intervention to the whole population at a national or even transnational level. This process often fails to consider the role cultural, political, and historical factors play in the perceived success of the local intervention, which can compromise both the impact and the ethics of at-scale implementation. To help address this issue, this paper argues for a definition of scalability that incorporates the ethics of the practice of scaling. It points to the potential of collaborative multi-sited ethnographic research to identify nuanced understandings of the different ethics systems endogenous to individual sites of implementation, in lieu of the universalising notions of ethics that are embedded in mainstream, linear notions of scalability. In so doing, it makes the case for multi-sited critical ethnography as a methodology of choice in researching the scalability of interventions in the context of development projects in the ‘Global South’.
"Elitism and its challengers: Educational development ideology in postcolonial India through the prism of film, 1950–1970," International Journal of Educational Development 60 (May 2018)
This article examines the ideological foundations of state-led educational development in India, as reflected in documentary films produced by the Films Division of India, the institution tasked with spreading the government’s vision for developing India. An analysis of documentaries concerned with educational development made from 1950 to 1970 shows contradictory educational visions that reflect the different understanding various groups of actors within the government had about the role education would play in Indian society. These tensions and contestations echo present-day debates about Indian education and help illuminate the dynamics currently at play in the gap between state rhetoric and the delivery of education in India.
"Social Justice, Environmental Sustainability and the Relocation of the Bikinians, 1946-1978," The World Outlook #39 (2011)
Through an environmental history perspective, this paper explores the resettlement of 167 inhabitants of the Bikini Atoll, Marshall Islands in 1946, demonstrates the incompatibility of the resettlement sites on Rongerik Atoll and Kili island with the Bikinian traditional sustenance patterns based on the three after the attempted return to Bikini in 1972, consequent malnourishment, social dislocation, culture degradation as well as a number of cancer-related deaths show an alarming level of negligence on the part of U.S. policy makers responsible for the resettlement. Further impediments of social justice—failure American victims of nuclear testing—support the interpretation of the U.S. nuclear tests as instances of toxic dumping with quiet approval of the American media and the general public. The paper points out the consequent loss of self- reliance and environmental sustainability inherent in the traditional Bikinian of foreign aid.
• ‘(De)Politicising Education for Sustainable Development: An Ethnography on the Margins,’ presented at UKFIET (The Education and Development Forum), Oxford, 2017
• ‘Researching a Non-Intervention: Sustainable Development and Postcolonial States,’ presented at Association for Social Anthropology conference, Adelaide, 2017
• ‘An ethnography of cross-cultural Scalability of Education for Sustainable Development,’ presented at the World Congress of Comparative Education Societies, Beijing, 2016
• ‘Scaling up ‘Quality:’ The case study of Cross-cultural Implementation of ‘Handprint’ in India and South Africa,’ presented at the British Association for International and Comparative Education conference, Nottingham, 2016
Shakespeare in Two Cultures: Theater as an Agent of Moral Education’ (with Andrew Garrod), paper presented at the Association for Moral Education Conference, Nanjing, China, October 2011
The video clips from the conference presentation are available below:
How To Achieve a 100 Pass Rate in the SLC, Nepali Times #533 (December 24, 2010)
Why we need to publicise education for sustainable development, The Education and Development Forum, 2017
Niedenthal’s and Chutaro’s Gift To The Marshall Islands (review of the film Lañinbwil's Gift, published in the Marshall Islands Journal)
Interviews and Articles about my Work
Throwing Light: Insights into the Neglected History of Indian Documentaries, Caravan Magazine, October 2016
Roll Reversal, Mumbai Mirror, September 26, 2016
Peter Sutoris ‘11 Named a Gates Cambridge Scholar, Dartmouth News, April 23, 2015
Visions of Development: Book Review, Aidnography, October 6, 2016
Vedec Peter Sutoris: Ľudské práva treba brániť, hoci aj silou [Scientist Peter Sutoris: We must defend human rights even if force is required; in Slovak], Dennik N, September 28, 2017