Pathbreakers: New Postdoctoral Research on South Asia at U of T
September 24, 2021 | 5-6 pm ET
Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork carried out in the Lapchi region of northern Nepal, this talk explores how cross-border pastoral communities reassess their expectations of the future within the current moment of state-driven infrastructure development and securitization across the Nepal-China borderland. People in Lapchi are dependent on access to grasslands and markets in neighboring China, but increasing restrictions on trade and movement across the border, exacerbated by the global Covid-19 pandemic, are causing plausible fear of economic precarity. In this uncertain present, a planned hydropower project and road produce significant affects for the local community. People hope that these development programs will bring alternative opportunities and new mobilities by opening the region up to trekking and tourism industries. As the anticipation of possible infrastructural futures shapes unprecedented socio-economic logics in the present, a historically mobile pastoral community is paradoxically transforming into more sedentary ways of life.
Speaker: Dr. Nadine Plachta, Department of Geography and Planning, University of Toronto
Discussant: Prof. Katharine Rankin, Department of Geography and Planning, University of Toronto
Moderator: Prof. Christoph Emmrich, Director of the Centre for South Asian Studies, University of Toronto