Dr Malini Sur – Jungle Passports: Fences, Mobility, and Citizenship at the Northeast India-Bangladesh Border

We are pleased to announce that Dr Malini Sur (Western Sydney University) will present her recently published book Jungle Passports: Fences, Mobility, and Citizenship at the Northeast India-Bangladesh Border at our next seminar. The seminar will be held on the 1st of July, Thursday (5 pm, AEST). Professor Bina D’Costa (Australian National University) will provide commentary before an open discussion.

If you wish to attend please register via the event page.

Jungle Passports: Fences, Mobility, and Citizenship at the Northeast India-Bangladesh Border (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2021) recasts established notions of citizenship and mobility along violent borderlands. Since the nineteenth century, a succession of states has classified the inhabitants of what are now the borderlands of Northeast India and Bangladesh as Muslim “frontier peasants”, “savage mountaineers” and Christian “ethnic minorities” suspecting them to be disloyal subjects, spies, and traitors. In Jungle Passports, Malini follows their struggles to secure shifting land, gain access to rice harvests, and smuggle the cattle and garments upon which their livelihoods depend against a background of violence, scarcity, and India’s construction of one of the world’s longest and most highly militarized border fences. This book shows how the partitioning of sovereignties and distinct regimes of mobility and citizenship push undocumented people to undertake perilous journeys across previously unrecognized borders every day.

Malini Sur is Senior Lecturer in Anthropology and a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Culture and Society, Western Sydney University. She is an environmental and socio-cultural anthropologist with research interests in India, Bangladesh and Australia. She has also published on borderlands in Cultural Anthropology, Comparative Anthropology, Comparative Studies in Society and History and Modern Asian Studies. Photographs from her fieldwork on South Asia’s borders have been exhibited in Amsterdam, Berlin, Bonn, Chiang Mai, Gottingen, Heidelberg, Kathmandu and Munich.

Bina D’ Costa is a Professor at the Department of International Relations, Coral Bell School of Asia-Pacific Affairs at the Australian National University. At the height of Europe’s refugee emergency, she moved to the UNICEF Office of Research-Innocenti to build its Migration and Displacement program (2016-2018). As a UN staff member, Bina has worked in South and Southeast Asia, Eastern and Southern Africa, and the Middle East. Her research interests span migration, children and conflict, gender, human rights and justice. She has undertaken studies on refugees, stateless communities and IDPs, and has provided inputs and technical advice to Human Rights bodies, UN agencies and NGOs. Most recently, she has served in UNICEF’s Rohingya Emergency Response Team in Cox’s Bazar Bangladesh. Her publications include books- Cascades of Violence: War, Crime and Peacebuilding Across South Asia (co-authored with John Braithwaite, ANU Press, 2018); Children and Violence: The Politics of Conflict in South Asia (Cambridge University Press, 2016); Children and Global Conflict (co-authored with Kim Huynh and Katrina Lee-Koo, Cambridge University Press, 2015).

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