Thursday, February 20 – BH 102, 7pm
Dr. Ather Zia
Department of Anthropology and Gender Studies Program
University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, Colorado
The Indian government says that the removal of Kashmir’s autonomy is for development, but it should be seen as embedded in a structure of neocolonialism based on fundamentalist Hindu ethnonationalism or Hindutva and fueled by neoliberalism. Kashmiris fear their loss of territorial sovereignty will pave way for settler colonialism, dispossession of indigenous people and rampant exploitation of resources resulting in neocolonial maldevelopment. In a broader neocolonial context, the erasure of Kashmir’s autonomy is also the fruition of the ideology Hindu indigeneity in which Muslims living in India, are cast as invaders and foreigners.; and Kashmiri Muslims are doubly marked as the Other: first as Muslims and second, as Kashmiris who are committed to an irrepressible struggle for the UN-mandated plebiscite and a democratic sovereignty.
Ather Zia, Ph.D., is a political anthropologist, poet, columnist, and short fiction writer. She teaches at the University of Northern Colorado Greeley. Ather is the author of Resisting Disappearances: Military Occupation and Women’s Activism in Kashmir (June 2019) and co-editor of Resisting Occupation in Kashmir (Upenn 2018) and A Desolation called Peace (Harper Collins, May 2019). She has published a poetry collection “The Frame” (1999) and another collection is forthcoming. Ather’s ethnographic poetry on Kashmir has won an award from the Society for Humanistic Anthropology. A widely published columnist, Ather is the founder-editor of Kashmir Lit and is the co-founder of Critical Kashmir Studies Collective, an interdisciplinary network of scholars working on the Kashmir region.