Symposium Jammu and Kashmir: Boundaries and Movements
Since 1947, the situation of Jammu and Kashmir has been dominated by the Line of Control which separates Pakistani and Indian administered parts of the erstwhile State. Although the LoC is the most prominent one, it is by no means the only border which sets crucial conditions for social and political life in the area. Beside other political-territorial borders, like the one between Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Kashmir on the Pakistani side, there are also geographical, religious, social and cultural boundaries. Such boundaries and border zones are not artefacts of the present: In colonial times the whole region was considered as the “Northern Frontier of India”, which set apart British and Russian dominated parts of Asia. Borders/boundaries are intimately related to movements: They are meant to control, to restrict or even to prevent the movement of people, but more often than not people subvert efforts for control and find ways across. Boundaries divide, yet they also conjoin adjacent territories or segments of society, making up spaces of contact and ambivalence. Beside physical boundaries which are related to physical movement by military, traders, migrants or refugees, also social and political boundaries and movements have played a crucial role in the history of Jammu and Kashmir and continue to do so in the present. Movements may challenge boundaries, yet frequently they also create new ones.
The symposium starts from the assumption that movements and boundaries are conditions which fundamentally shape social and political life in Jammu and Kashmir. Movements and boundaries are taken here as broad concepts that include diplomatic moves and obstructions, social and political movements and boundaries as well as migration and territorial borders.
The symposium is intended to focus on Jammu and Kashmir past and present through a thematic focus on movements and boundaries. Scholars from various disciplinary backgrounds will be invited (anthropology, history, geography, political sciences, conflict studies). The symposium also intends to bring scholars together that, partly as a consequence of the political fragmentation of the State of Jammu and Kashmir into Indian and Pakistani controlled territories, normally work apart.
For the programme of the symposium please click here.
Meanwhile, a selection of the papers has been published as a special issue of the journal Contemporary South Asia: Jammu and Kashmir – Boundaries and Movements (Vol. 23, 3, 2015).
Participants of the symposium