Organized Panel Session
This panel centers sociospatial histories of inter-Asian mobilities centered in South Asia and extending east and westwards. It brings together expansive geographies of oceanic and land networks of trade and agrarian circuits that were created, severed, and reshaped dramatically through state formation and border enforcement through the 20th century. These political processes had economic and regulatory ramifications but also transformed the social and material ties that trading communities had with the postcolonial states, other communities, and most crucially with places. Examining different kinds of networks, the papers find that these mobilities often generate discrete geographies, imaginaries, and attachments - legal, social, financial and political. Individual and family histories of mobility reveal complex intersections of these different networks and geographies, waxing and waning over times and spaces, manifesting in material and ephemeral ways. In such contexts, how are multiple - often contradictory - attachments and belongings forged, aspired for, or forgotten? How do mobile people understand the temporalities, spatialities, and affective elements of their multiple mobilities and networks in relation to one other? As older trade networks are subsumed in new articulations of region and transnational connectivities, what are the labors to maintain residual layers? How are the institutional and papery histories of these mobilities reflected in laws and public memories, shaping contemporary horizons? The papers in this panel collectively consider these issues, raise methodological questions and propose new directions for the study of lived histories of mobility and material culture at the intersection of the anthropology and history.