Intimate Geopolitics
182 pages, 6 x 9
2 B-W maps, 2 figures, 2 Tables
Release Date:13 Mar 2020
CA$188.00 Back Order
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Intimate Geopolitics

Love, Territory, and the Future on India's Northern Threshold

Rutgers University Press
Winner of the 2021 Julian Minghi Distinguished Book Award from the American Association of Geographers​
2021 Foreword Indies Finalist - Politics and Social Sciences

Intimate Geopolitics begins with a love story set in the Himalayan region of Ladakh, in India’s Jammu and Kashmir State, but this is also a story about territory, and the ways that love, marriage, and young people are caught up in contemporary global processes. In Ladakh, children grow up to adopt a religious identity in part to be counted in the census, and to vote in elections. Religion, population, and voting blocs are implicitly tied to territorial sovereignty and marriage across religious boundaries becomes a geopolitical problem in an area that seeks to define insiders and outsiders in relation to borders and national identity. This book populates territory, a conventionally abstract rendering of space, with the stories of those who live through territorial struggle at marriage and birth ceremonies, in the kitchen and in the bazaar, in heartbreak and in joy. Intimate Geopolitics argues for the incorporation of the role of time–temporality–into our understanding of territory.
'Intimate Geopolitics is a richly crafted book, which forcefully demonstrates that politics of the intimate are intricately tied to global political maneuverings. Its empirical detail, animated through stories of the people Smith interviewed in Ladakh, reveal that the deeply personal and painful struggles refuse to be contained to the intimate. They bristle with tension and vulnerability about territory, sovereignty, and belonging.'
Rupal Oza, author of The Making of Neoliberal India
This deeply moving ethnography takes us through a complex interplay of intimacy, reproduction, bodies and nationhood in the North Indian region of Leh and Ladakh. Smith's work is courageous and critical, and once again confirms that reproduction can never be apolitical, and that longing and belonging cannot be delinked. Amrita Pande, author of Wombs in Labor
Intimate Geopolitics is a timely and important intervention in Himalayan studies....[An] engaging and ethnographically rich narrative, which treats a geopolitically loaded question with a great deal of sensitivity and understanding. Journal of Asian Studies
SARA SMITH is an associate professor in the Department of Geography at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
Series Foreword by Péter Berta
List of Figures
1 Introduction
2 Birth and the territorial body
3 The queen and the fistfight: territory comes to life
4 Intimacy on the threshold
5 Raising children on the threshold of the future
6 Generation vertigo and the future of territory
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