RGS-IBG Annual International Conference 2020


Minorities in South Asia: Contesting bordering processes

Research Group Affiliation(s)
Gender and Feminist Geographies Research Group
The most recent passing of the Citizenship Amendment Act in India has caused a widespread outcry: throughout South Asia, majoritarian populist policies have placed minorities into politically precarious constellations through numerous bordering processes of exclusionary practices along religious and ethnic boundaries (Smith, Swanson et. al., 2016). This was also evident in Sri Lanka where, after the Easter attacks 2019, the Muslim minority as a whole became a category of suspicion. In the everyday, such bordering processes often have dire consequences: the lack of identity documents or just being part of a minority can become a pressing material and affective reality resulting in discriminatory practices. These practices are also gendered in ways that discriminate against minority women in specific ways.
Numerous forms of contesting these bordering processes have, nevertheless, emerged throughout South Asia. Feminist geographers have specifically seized upon how forms of everyday contestations can produce new configurations of religion, politics, public and private life (e.g. Hyndman, 2001; Secor, A., 2001; Secor, A. J., 2001; Hyndman, 2004; Falah & Nagel, 2005; Williams, 2012; Gökarıksel & Secor, 2015). At the same time, feminist scholars working on South Asia have highlighted the difficulty in broadening the contest beyond the confines of religion, gender, ethnicity and sexuality (e.g. Manchanda, 2010; Loomba & Lukose, 2012).
This session draws attention to the intricacy of contesting bordering processes across place, space and scale in the context of politicised minorities in South Asia. We ask specifically for contributions addressing a range of feminist and geographical perspectives that include but are not restricted to the following:
• Lack of official documents and its everyday effects on lives,
• Contestations of the body and subjectivity in the geopolitics of majoritarianism,
• Bordering processes and the role of caste, class and scale,
• Legal geography of citizenship in minority contexts,
• Intersectional approaches (gender, race, class, age, sexuality, ability, citizenship),
• Southern theoretical conceptualisations of contest and protest,
• The role of the digital sphere in contesting bordering processes.
Instructions for Authors
If you are interested in participating in this session, please, send a paper proposal (title, author affiliation and abstract of max. 250 words) to: christine.schenk@rws.uzh.ch by Tuesday, 11 February 2020.
Call For Papers Deadline
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