Settlers, Saints and Sovereigns
An Ethnography of State Formation in Western India
Routledge India – 2009 – 232 pages
Series: Critical Asian Studies
This book is an anthropological study located along India’s western border with Pakistan. The core arguments are situated within the context of contemporary religious nationalism, communal strife, and border politics in the Indian state of Gujarat. It seeks to understand how, within these contexts, a region becomes a meaningful place for its inhabitants and how different peoples relate to locality through time. Theoretically, the book builds on available anthropological literatures on state formation and border politics to interrogate the presumed impermeability of nationalist discourse and territorial boundaries.
1. Imagining a Region 2. Migration, Memory, and Affect: Counter-Perspectives to Asmita 3. Defining a Border: Religion, Region, and Nation 4. Pastoralists, Islam, and the State: Religion and Settlement of the Border 5. Settlement, Sovereignty, and History 6. Epilogue. Bibliography. Index
Farhana Ibrahim is Assistant Professor at the Centre for Media and Cultural Studies, Tata Institute of Social Sciences. She holds a PhD in socio-cultural anthropology from Cornell University. Her current research project engages with maritime histories and merchant networks in western India, and she has published articles in journals such as Nomadic Peoples, Economic and Political Weekly and Himal South Asian.