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Guest Talk Martin Saxer

Places in knots


22 November 2021, 18.15
Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology
Oettingenstraße 67
80538 München

PD Dr. Martin Saxer (LMU Munich):

Places in knots. Remoteness and connectivity in the Himalayas and beyond

In this talk I trace the experiences of mobile Himalayan communities and their ambitions and ventures across the globe. Based on long-term research in northern Nepal, I challenge assumptions of global development rooted in sedentarist visions of the “local community” and offer a new perspective on the making and un-making of remoteness.

I develop the notion of place-knots as an approach to understand the ways in which Himalayan communities relate to the multiple places they inhabit and the work and trouble of keeping them tied together. The notion of place-knots affords a perspective on mobility and community that gives narratives of migration and diaspora a new twist. Global Himalayan ventures, I argue, may be better understood as a form of expansion of community rather than out-migration for good. Moving out does not sever the bonds of community. Rather, the other way around, moving out is the pull that ties the knot.

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