• Order Beyond Borders:

    Sovereignty and Citizenship in Asia and the Indian Ocean World

    17th & 18th March, 2017

About the Conference

A series of emerging developments in Asia such as China’s One Belt, One Road (OBOR) project, Turkey’s neo-Ottomanism, Russia’s Eurasian Economic Union, and reconnection of Indian diasporas evince increasing regionalism across Asia. Many of these new regionalisms depend on channeling histories and memories of oceanic and territorial routes carved over centuries by movements of people, ideas, and goods across the interconnected terrain of Eurasia and Indian Ocean. Central to bringing this past to the present are transnational networks of trade, religion, kinship, and labor constituted over the longue durée. This interdisciplinary conference brings together anthropologists, historians, sociologists, and political scientists to conceptualize emerging regional political aspirations and infrastructure projects through the past of networks. By bringing regions separated in space and pasts disconnected in time, this conference looks to conceptualize how order is constructed beyond borders.

The conference is being held under the auspices of the Interdisciplinary Development Research and Action Center (IDRAC) at Habib University, Karachi. The IDRAC Center draws its name from the Urdu word ‘Idraak’ which is a polysemic word signifying the broad plurality of processes and connotations associated with “thinking”. The Center fosters thoughtful research and action on key development challenges facing Pakistan and the larger South Asian region. It aspires to serve as a bridge between academic scholars, policy-makers, and development practitioners so that these critical arenas of social analysis and change can come together in collaboration instead of operating in isolation. Drawing upon the multidisciplinary strengths of the Social Development and Policy faculty at Habib, the Center hosts a series of activities that strengthen existing efforts at social cohesion and sustainable development in the region, while also exemplifying the role of a university in serving society and contributing to its meaningful well-being. The conference is supported by a generous grant from the American Institute of Pakistan Studies (AIPS) to facilitate the participation of US-based scholars.

Keynote Speech by Professor Edward Simpson

Time: 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm
Venue: Tariq Rafi Lecture Theater, Habib University

About the Speaker:

Professor Edward Simpson,
Department of Anthropology, School of Oriental and African Studies,
University of London

Dr. Edward Simpson is Professor of Social Anthropology in the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London where he has taught for more than a decade. Professor Simpson’s work broadly revolves around the themes of mobility, disasters, and social change. He completed his doctoral degree at the London School of Economics, UK. He is the author of several books, edited volume, and journal articles on maritime cultures of the Indian Ocean, ethnography of infrastructure in South Asia, and politics in rural India. His first book, ‘Muslim Society and the Western Indian Ocean: The Seafarers of Kachchh’ is one of the most significant texts on the Indian Ocean. Following his work on ships and seafarers, Dr. Simpson is currently working on knowledge practices, interrelations and motivations of road builders in South Asia. The project titled ‘'Roads and the politics of thought: Ethnographic approaches to infrastructure development in South Asia” looks to explore through the lives of road builders, the contradictions between global paradigms of development and sustainability. He is also at present the chair of the Center for Ethnographic Theory at SOAS.

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Session 1: Poetics and Politics of Infrastructure

Session 2: Borders and (Il)licit Flows

Session 3: Security Archipelagos in the Indian Ocean

Session 4: Muslim Diasporas and Inter-Asian Trade

Keynote Speech by Dr. Bettina Ng’weno

Time: 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm
Venue: Tariq Rafi Lecture Theater, Habib University

About the Speaker:

Dr. Bettina Ng’weno,
Associate Professor of African American and African Studies,
University of California, Davis

Dr. Bettina Ng’weno is Associate professor of African American and African studies at the University of California- Davis. Dr. Ng’weno, a Cultural Anthropologist by training, received her doctoral degree from Johns Hopkins University. She is also co-directing the Mellon Initiative entitled “Re-imagining the Indian Ocean” at UC Davis. Her first book “Turf Wars: Territory and Citizenship in the Contemporary State” was a ground-breaking study of indigenous African-descent communities’ struggle for land rights in Colombia. Currently, Dr. Ng’weno is working on her second manuscript tentatively titled “Living to Tell the Tale: Knowledge, Diaspora, Africa and the Indian Ocean”. Her forthcoming book draws on stories told by and about Afro-Asians in the northern Indian Ocean rim, to understand the importance of daily life practices of diasporas in structuring the Indian Ocean world. Dr. Ng’weno is broadly interested in themes of diasporic mobility, race, citizenship, and everyday life. At present, she is also heading a collaborative project at UC-Davis titled ‘Reimagining Indian Ocean Worlds.’

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Registrations are closed!

Contact info

For inquiries please contact the following:
Habib University
Contact: +92 21 111 042242 (HABIB)
Email: marketing@habib.edu.pk

Location Map

Event Will Be Held At

Habib University City Campus