By Rohini Thakkar
On February 19-20, 2021, Global Asia Initiative at Duke University organized a book writing workshop - Borderlands as ‘Third Space’: Hybrid Amorphous Borders and the Imagination of Space in Asia. The workshop was cosponsored by Duke History department and was organized by Dr Debojyoti Das, Sussex University with the support of by SSRC’s Inter Asia New Paradigm Grant.
An Interdisciplinary panel of scholars with diverse regional expertise were invited to collaboratively interrogate cultural production ‘third space’ associated with habitats that produce complex socio-cultural and ecological formations in Asia. The workshop invited a select group of papers from scholars and SSRC fellows working on borderlands within the disciplines of environmental humanities, postcolonial studies, borderland studies, subaltern studies, anthropology, sociology and history among others.
The scholars delved on how borderlands and boundaries of nation states in Asia that lie at the transient space between land and water, deserts and mountains, plateaus and plains among other geomorphic features create a third space through licit or illicit trade, migration flows and culture contact and innovation.
The theme of the book writing workshop contributed to and greatly enhanced the vision of the Environmental Humanities cluster at Global Asia Initiative.
As part of the project, participants also showcased photographs from their own fieldwork in borderlands that became part of the digital archive.
More details about the workshop and the individual presenters can be found here.