Please join us for a Seminar on "The Universal Meets the Himalayan Particular " by Dr. Mabel Denzin Gergan, Vanderbilt University to be held on Friday, 4th November 2022, 6:30- 7:45 PM (IST).
Click to Join (Zoom Link:) or https://zoom.us/j/94124921617?pwd=V0JPWTN1RG9Jb0dYU3FYUkw3bjZHZz09
Abstract: Akin to charismatic, endangered megafauna, the Himalayan region with its snowy peaks, high-altitude lakes, and glaciers — the source of Asia’s major river systems, occupies a central place within apocalyptic forecasts of a ruinous future marked by an intensification of disasters, climatic instability, resource extraction, and geopolitical tensions. Drawing on research with indigenous/tribal youth from Sikkim and Ladakh and in conversation with indigenous scholars like Kyle Whyte, Zoe Todd, Dolly Kikon, and Virginius Xaxa, my talk interrogates the “newness of crisis” implicit in such narratives that obscure ongoing and historical apocalypses in the region. Colonial authorities characterized the Himalayan region as India’s “Mongolian Fringe” due to its geographic and racial proximity to China and South-East Asia, while Indian nationalist leaders suspected the loyalties of frontier populations. I center race in my analysis to illuminate the coloniality of postcolonial state formation and demonstrate how indigenous youth’s desires for futures where their generation and the ones to follow can flourish on their ancestral territories on their own terms offer alternative temporal and territorial framings that challenge universalizing logics of linear time and progress embedded in nationalist and state development narratives.