Flows and Frictions in Trans-Himalayan Spaces: Histories of Networking and Border Crossing

edited by Gunnel Cederlöf and Willem van Schendel
Asian Borderlands
Amsterdam University Press, 2022
eISBN: 978-90-485-5558-1

Flows and Frictions in Trans-Himalayan Spaces traces movements and connections in a region known for its formidable obstacles to mobility. Eight original essays and a conceptual introduction engage with questions of networks and interconnection between people across a bordered landscape. Mobility among the extremely varied ecologies of south-western China, Myanmar and north-eastern India, with their rugged terrain, high mountains, monsoon-fed rivers and marshy lowlands, is certainly subject to friction. But today, harsh political realities have created hard borders and fractured this trans-Himalayan terrain. However, the closely researched chapters in this book demonstrate that these borders have not prevented an abundance of movements, connections and flows. Mobility has always coexisted with friction here, but this coexistence has been unsettled, giving this space its historical shape and its contemporary dynamism. Introducing the concept of the ‘corridor’ as an analytical framework, this collection investigates mobility and flows in this unique socio-political landscape.

Gunnel Cederlöf, Professor of History at Linnaeus University, Sweden, and member of the Centre for Concurrences in Colonial and Postcolonial Studies. She studies environmental, legal, and colonial history in India and South Asia. Publications include Founding an Empire on India’s North-Eastern Frontiers, 1790-1840 (2014), Landscapes and the Law (2008) and Ecological Nationalisms (2006 with K. Sivaramakrishnan).

Willem van Schendel, Professor of History, University of Amsterdam and International Institute of Social History, the Netherlands. He works with the history, anthropology and sociology of Asia. Recent works include A History of Bangladesh (2020), Embedding Agricultural Commodities (2017, ed.), The Camera as Witness (2015, with J. L. K. Pachuau). See uva.academia.edu/WillemVanSchendel.

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