P39
Liberating Kashmir from the 'South Asian' past and identity

Convenors:
Rafiq Ahmad (Sopore College, University of Kashmir)
Dibyesh Anand (University of Westminster)
Ather Zia (University of Northern Colorado, Gender and Anthropology)
Location:
Room 215
Start time:
30 July, 2016 at 9:00
Session slots:
2

Short abstract:

Kashmir as place, community, and territory has largely been subsumed under 'South Asian' historical tradition, wherein Kashmir is naturalized into either Indian or Pakistani entities. This Panel re-thinks this subsumption through re-evaluation of notions of 'territory', 'identity', and 'resistance.'

Long abstract:

The region of Kashmir has largely been presented as a matter of territorial dispute between India and Pakistan.The study of Kashmir is caught in an analytic gridlock with many scholars peddling increasingly unhelpful maps of past through circulation of presentist categories such as 'indigeneity,' 'syncretism,' 'belonging,' 'Islamization,' 'sacred geography,' 'paradise' and so on. Kashmir's historical and narrative tradition - and by extension the idea of Kashmir as a place, community, and a political territory - has subsequently been subsumed under a 'South Asian' historical tradition which has paved way for the naturalization of these categories into 'stable' entities, wherein Kashmir became either Indian or Pakistani. The Panel will re-think this becoming, à la Bergson, by exploring to decouple these categories from their localized and ideological moorings. This panel will challenge conventional epistemologies of writing and thinking Kashmir through re-evaluation of the commonsensical notions of 'territory', 'identity', and 'resistance' as an effect of structural relations of power in the context of governmentality, occupation, and institutionalized denial of justice. We aim to re-think Kashmir as interstitiality - not simply a borderland across the Line of Control between India and Pakistan - between Western, Central and Southern Asia. By drawing upon multi-disciplinary contributions this panel will focus on longue durée processes of Kashmir-making, to be conceived as a matter of embodied practices and réalités de transaction that shape identities and enable resistance.