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Delhi conference on borders

1-2 February 2018 in New Delhi, India

The North East India Studies Programme at Jawaharlal Nehru University, will hold a conference 1-2 February 2018 in New Delhi, India. The conference theme is: "Between Empires: The making and unmaking of borders, 19th- 20th centuries". The last date of abstract submission is 15 July, 2017.

The idea of frontiers, borders and borderlands have historically constituted important elements of state-making or empire building. This has been an important characteristic of the Asian frontiers and borderlands. Between the 19th and 20th centuries, the production of these spaces was shaped by a variety of processes such as relations of power, knowledge production, violence, imperial policies, search for resources and ideas of space. What were the tools through which borders were historically demarcated and enforced on the ground? In what ways the nature of violence shaped the making of frontiers and borderlands? What practices were instrumental in reshaping the contours of local societies, economies and their historical geographies? Can land, coastal or riverine frontiers, rather than being perceived as insular and distinct spaces, allow one to rethink these geographies in terms of ideas and processes of connected histories? What are the practices through which borders are transgressed or unmade?  Focusing on the making and unmaking of various Asian borders, this interdisciplinary conference aims to engage with some of these questions. An important focus of the conference will be on the everyday experiences of societies and how various actors resisted, negotiated and modified political spaces and relations in the borderlands. Some of the broad themes under which abstracts are invited, but not limited to, are as below:

  • making state, drawing borders, practices of violence
  • travel, surveys, mapping, explorations
  • land, river and coastal frontiers
  • frontier objects, capital, illegal networks and global resources
  • religious frontiers, millenerial movements
  • mobile groups: labours, soldiers, traders, missionaries etc
  • migration, ecology, landscape and identity  
  • world wars, re-imagining frontiers
  • nationalism, state and borderlands
  • labour economy, development and transnationality         

This two day international conference invites submissions from researchers working on the borderlands of South, South East and East Asia. Interested researchers may submit an abstract of 250-300 words, along with a CV to the conference organizers Lipokmar Dzüvichü (lipokmardzuvichu [at] gmail [dot] com) and Manjeet Baruah (manjeetbaruah [at] gmail [dot] com). The last date of submission is 15 July, 2017.