PANEL 1 (PERCEIVING THE FRONTIER)
Indrani Chatterjee, University of Texas, Austin
Indrani Chatterjee is the author of Gender, Slavery and Law in Colonial India (1999), Forgotten Friends (2013), editor of Unfamiliar Relations (2004) and co-editor with Richard Eaton of Slavery and South Asian History (2007). She taught at Miranda House, Delhi; UC Davis; and Rutgers University before taking up her current post in the History Department of the University of Texas at Austin.
Swati Chawla, OP Global Jindal University
Swati Chawla is an assistant professor at the Jindal School of Liberal Arts and Humanities, O.P. Jindal Global University, with a Ph.D. in modern South Asian history from the University of Virginia. Her research is focused on migration and citizenship claims in Himalayan regions of postcolonial South Asia. Her work has been supported by the American Institute of Indian Studies, USAID, the South Asia Institute at Columbia University, and the Institute for Humane Studies. While at UVa, she worked as a Pedagogy Specialist for the Digital Humanities Curriculum and held the Praxis Fellowship in Digital Humanities at the Scholars’ Lab. Swati is committed to taking her research to a wider non-specialist audience, and is actively engaged in public-facing scholarship through op-eds, podcasts, and a Twitter channel #himalayanhistories. She was recently a Sacred Writes fellow— part of a Luce Foundation sponsored program for training in public scholarship on religion at Northeastern University.
Nitasha Kaul, University of Westminster
Nitasha Kaul (PhD, MSc, BA Hons) is a multidisciplinary academic, novelist, poet, artist, and economist. Currently an Associate Professor (Reader) in Politics and International Relations at the Centre for the Study of Democracy, University of Westminster in London, she has previously worked as an Assistant Professor in Economics at the Bristol Business School and as an Associate Professor in Creative Writing in Bhutan. Over the last two decades, she has researched and published extensively on themes relating to democracy, political economy, identity, the rise of right-wing nationalism, and feminist and postcolonial critiques in Bhutan, India and Kashmir. Links to written and spoken work are available at www.nitashakaul.com. She speaks within and outside academia. Her books include Imagining Economics Otherwise (Routledge, 2007), Future Tense (Harper Collins India, 2020), Man-Asian Literary Prize shortlisted Residue (Rainlight, 2014) and Can You Hear Kashmiri Women Speak? (co-edited; Kali for Women Press, 2020).
Discussant: Akshaya Tankha, Yale University
Akshaya Tankha is an art historian of modern and contemporary South Asia, with a focus on the relationship between aesthetics and politics, postcolonialism, and Indigeneity in India. Tankha’s current book project is tentatively titled, An Aesthetics of Endurance and Emergence: art, visual culture, and Indigenous presence in Nagaland, India.
PANEL 2 (CONSTRUCTING THE FRONTIER)
Kyle Gardner, George Washington University
Kyle Gardner is a non-resident scholar at the Sigur Center for Asian Studies, George Washington University. His first book, The Frontier Complex: Geopolitics and the Making of the India-China Border, 1846-1962, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2021.
Francesca Fuoli, University of Bern
Francesca Fuoli is a historian of modern Afghanistan, South Asia and modern European empires. She studied international relations in Trieste and specialized in South Asian law, politics and anthropology in London. She holds a PhD in History from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) for which she researched the impact of British colonialism on Afghanistan’s state-building process in the late nineteenth century. She was a Teaching Fellow at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) until 2017 and has been a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Historical Institute of the University of Bern since January 2018. Francesca is currently working on the publication of her monograph with the provisional title Conquering Afghanistan: negotiating imperial sovereignty on the frontiers of the British Indian empire, 1857-1901.
Dibyesh Anand, University of Westminster
Professor Dibyesh Anand is the Head of the School of Social Sciences at the University of Westminster, London and a professor of international relations. He is the author of monographs Geopolitical Exotica: Tibet in Western Imagination and Hindu Nationalism in India and the Politics of Fear and has spoken about, and published on, varied topics including Tibet, China, China-India border dispute, Hindu nationalism in India, Islamophobia, and conflict in Kashmir.
Discussant: Arjun Sharma, Yale University
Arjun is a Flemish Research Council (FWO) postdoctoral researcher and a visiting fellow at the Yale MacMillan South Asia Council and the Agrarian Studies Initiative. His current research studies how the long term interaction between everyday natural resource practices and institutions, state formation, as well as ecological and climate change affect the way in which Himalayan borderland communities’ understand, represent, and live in mountainous places.
PANEL 3 (THE LIVING FRONTIER)
Galen Murton, James Madison University
Galen is a human geographer with broad research and teaching interests in the politics of international development. His ongoing research project examines the social and geopolitical implications of infrastructure development across the Himalayan borderlands of Highland Asia, primarily between Tibet and Nepal. He also studies local experiences with international aid in post-disaster landscapes and the impacts of Chinese aid and work programs at different scales. More recently, he has been asking what’s the matter with infrastructure in America and is curious about the possibilities for infrastructural justice in post-industrial national contexts. Related to these projects and to classroom instruction, he also likes to teach and research with students in mountain regions of Asia and the Americas.
Sara Smith, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Sara Smith is Professor of Geography at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She is a feminist political geographer interested in the relationship between territory, bodies, and the everyday. Her research seeks to understand how politics and geopolitics are constituted through intimate acts of love, friendship, and birth. She has worked in Ladakh, India, on questions of marriage and family planning, and is now engaged in a project on how Ladakhi college students think about Ladakh, themselves, belonging, and the future. She also pursues these issues as they emerge in the US and global context, through developing work on race, biopolitics, and the future. She is the author of Intimate Geopolitics: Love, Marriage, Territory, and the Future on India’s Northern Threshold, Political Geography: A critical introduction, and co-editor of Feminist Geography Unbound: Discomfort, Bodies, and Prefigured Futures.
Shafqat Hussain, Trinity College
Shafqat Hussain is an Associate Professor of Anthropology at Trinity College, Hartford, CT. Shafqat obtained a Ph.D. from the School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and the Department of Anthropology at Yale University, USA in 2009. For his doctoral research he worked in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of northern Pakistan, looking at conflict between a local yak-herding community and the government forest department over the establishment and management of a National Park. In 1999, he started a community-based livestock insurance scheme against snow leopard predation in Baltistan region of northern Pakistan. He has worked for Aga Khan Rural Support Program in Skardu and IUCN – Washington as a Ford Foundation Policy Fellow. His first book, Remoteness and Modernity was published by Yale University Press in 2015. His second book, The Snow Leopard and the Goat, was published by University of Washington Press in 2019.
Dan Haines, University of Bristol
Dan works on modern environmental history, focusing on South Asia, and is currently writing about earthquakes, colonial power and nationalism in late-colonial India (inc. Pakistan and Myanmar) and Nepal. He has worked with environmental and social sciences on interdisciplinary projects on glaciers, rivers and earthquakes in Nepal and Bhutan. His earlier research focused on rivers – both the damming of them (his first book on dam-building and decolonization in Pakistan) and struggles between nations and political groupings to control them (his second book on the Indus waters dispute). Through these and other projects he has developed interests in spatial history, colonialism and decolonization, international relations, and interdisciplinary links with political geography. He is currently part-time seconded to the UK”s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office as a research analyst but will be engaging with the workshop in his personal, academic capacity.
Discussant: Logan Emlet, Yale University
Logan is a Master of Environmental Science student at the Yale School of the Environment. His current work examines the historical production of scarcity geographies, the ritual production of different modes of precarity, and the implications of the pandemic on local food systems in northwestern Nepal. Logan’s doctoral research will examine how agrarian and culinary labor mediate diverse relations – political, economic, ecological, gendered, spatial etc. – and produce values of different kinds.