[URBANTH-L]CFP: Islands and Enclaves: Exploring the ambiguities and
boundaries of non-contiguous nation-states
MBrand at wooster.edu
Wed Mar 21 14:39:19 EDT 2007
[ I believe the previous message did not go through properly. Apologies for multiple postings. Please forward as relevant. MB]
CALL FOR PAPERS
2007 American Anthropological Association Annual Conference
(28 November - 2 December 2007)
Proposed session title and abstract:
Islands and enclaves: Exploring the ambiguities and boundaries of
If nation-states are almost always defined by some notion of boundedness,
what happens when certain parts of the nation-state are not territorially
contiguous with what is considered the political center of that
nation-state? In this panel, we will be looking at islands and enclaves that
are not nation-states themselves, but in one way or another fall under the
jurisdiction of a geographically distant political body, hence forming part
of a larger nation-state. The physical distance that separates these islands
and territories from their "mainland" can lead to ambiguity, not only in how
these spaces are understood and configured by the state, but also in how the
populations concerned may imagine themselves and that relation. Despite this
ambiguity (or perhaps because of it), that distance tends to be made
materially and symbolically significant, whether geographical contiguity is
or is not explicitly considered a defining feature of that political entity.
Mapped onto that geographic distance and separation are social, cultural,
linguistic, legislative and other differences, be that on the part of social
actors, governments, or both. Often these differences assume the form of
inequalities: unequal access to social rights, racial and ethnic
hierarchies, cultural marginalization, etc. These differences may likewise
become the tools through which rights, identities and social relations are
renegotiated. In some cases these differences may take center stage in
political debates and public discourse, but in others may be expressed in
very subtle and ill-defined ways that nevertheless complicate the
relationship between these two spaces and impact the lives of those residing
The populations that we study are confronted by national boundaries, but in
very different ways than those generally described by transnational studies.
In some cases, people must cross national boundaries, including foreign
spaces, to stay within the nation. Very often, these populations have just
as much or even more contact with peoples belonging to other nation-states
geographically closer. In other cases, these territories have frequently
changed hands and fallen under the authority of other nation-states or
political bodies, creating politically and culturally different histories
and presents from the larger nation-state. In this panel, we are concerned
not just with the physicality of the boundaries but also with how those
boundaries are culturally and historically imagined. Among the central
questions of this panel: Do states differentially shape national identities
on the "mainland" versus these outlying territories, and if so, what
factors, reasons, ideologies stand behind imagining these spaces
differently? What role do educational and other institutions play in
creating a particular national identity, or in manufacturing a sense of
belonging or non-belonging? In what instances is the issue one of
"inclusion"-because of assumed differences-rather than that of
"differentiation"? How do social, cultural, historical, material and
symbolic ties get established to assert a relation with the larger nation,
and how do similar points of divergence get created to assert difference?
How have these relationships changed over time?
The forms that non-contiguous nation-states can take and the relations that
exist between the different parts are highly varied. This panel seeks to
present the diversity of these situations. Scholars may be working on one or
more of the spaces that make up the nation-state, and in some cases may find
themselves caught up just as much in the interstices of those spaces. Topics
may include, but are not limited to: inclusion/exclusion, citizenship,
national/cultural/ethnic identity, jurisdiction, land rights.
Please feel free to forward this message to others who might be interested.
If you would like to participate, please send an abstract (maximum 250
words) to Nona Moskowitz ( ndm2g at virginia.edu) or Anna Lim
(pal4t at virginia.edu).
The submission deadline is Sunday, 25 March 2007 (noon)
We will confirm acceptance into the panel by Tuesday, 27 March 2007.
The conference theme this year is "Difference, (In)equality and Justice."
Individual papers should be 15 minutes in length. A/V equipment will be
available upon request. For more information about the conference, please
check the AAA website at: www.aaanet.org
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