Monthly Seminar Series: 2021-22
Special Centre for the Study of North East India
Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
Dr. Jelle J. P. Wouters
Associate Professor in Anthropology and Sociology, Royal Thimphu College, Bhutan.
Time and Venue
3 to 5 PM, Friday, 24th September, 2021
Through Google meet at the following link: meet.google.com/mbh-qmey-qiu
Title of the Lecture
Desire and Delirium in Highland Northeast India
Abstract: This talk discusses the relationship between state, ethnicity, territoriality, and neoliberal capitalism in highland Northeast India. It will particularly focus on the socio-ecological and socio-political corollaries of this region’s rediscovery as a resource and capitalist frontier. It argues how new resource and capitalist flows lead both to the production of capitalist ‘desires’, which locally reveal as a delirium, and socio-ecological through the privatization, acquisition and depletion, mostly by ethnic tribal elites, of communal assets now embedded in newly capitalist relations, and to the intensification of a politics of exclusive ethno-territorial belonging and rights. One upshot of this is a dialectic between new neoliberal connectivity and ethnic ‘closure’ one that ensues in a frame of the specifics of governance and law in highland Northeast India.
About the Speaker
Dr. Jelle J. P. Wouters is Associate Professor in Anthropology and Sociology at Royal Thimphu College, Bhutan. Previously he taught at Sikkim Central University and was a visiting faculty at Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen, Germany. Over the years, he has conducted ethnographic and historical research in the Naga highlands, writing about vernacular democracyand elections, political conflict, kinship and identity, and social history. Some of his writings appeared in Geopolitics, HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory, Contributions to Indian Sociology, Studies in History, and the Cambridge Journal of Anthropology. He is the author of In the Shadows of Naga Insurgency: Tribes, State, and Violence in Northeast India (OUP, 2018) and Nagas as a Society Against Voting and Other Essays (Highlander Press, 2019).
All are Cordially Invited