ANHS is pleased to announce Intimate Geopolitics: Love, Territory, and the Future on India’s Northern Threshold
by Sara Smith
(University North Carolina, Chapel Hill) as the 2022 winner of the ANHS James Fisher Book Award. The James Fisher Prize honors the significant and substantive contributions of Dr. James Fisher to scholarship on the Himalayas, and it recognizes particularly outstanding first books on the region.
“This is a beautiful book. It starts with a love story between Muslim and Buddhist youth in Leh, in which “dire geopolitical potentials associated with their union” terminate a relationship and a pregnancy. Such marriages have become impossible in a region where religious and ethnic minorities experience existential vulnerability. The book develops a compelling, ethnographically rich argument about how geopolitical conflict rests in bodies, manifests in daily life, and how bodies in turn can become a terrain for forging territory, through intimacy, love and reproduction. The ethnographic detail furnishes a feminist theory of intimate geopolitics. We see how bodies can refuse to be “instrumentalized for territorial purposes;” or how they can become a “link between territory of today and territories of the future” (when marginalized groups experience existential uncertainty, they seek to manage the bodies of their youth as the occupants of future territory, in a dynamic that Smith calls “generational vertigo”). The book duly considers how a frame of intimate geopolitics might help understand other areas of the world, and Smith writes with a humility and reflexivity that builds the trust of readers.”
ANHS also congratulates Swargajyoti Gohain on receiving the 2022 Honorary Mention for the James Fisher Book Prize for Imagined Geographies in the Indo-Tibetan Borderlands: Culture, Politics Place.
About the James Fisher Book Prize