Fences, Walls and States: Anthropology of Political Borders (02/19)

Disclaimer: All views expressed in this presentation are those of the speaker and do not necessarily represent the teachings, views, and opinions of Darul Qasim.

Fences, Walls and States: Anthropology of Political Borders

Dr. Ramazan Aras | Ibn Haldun University in Istanbul, Turkey

Friday, February 19th, 2021 | 8:00 PM CST

No registration required – live on YouTube & Facebook (see stream below)


In the process of formation of nation-states, political territorial borders have become sites and symbols of power and also concrete forms of boundaries of the imagined nation. As a result of employment of diverse forms of politics of security and control, political territorial borders have led to production of numerous stories of separation, loss, border crossings, smuggling, banditry, yearning and death in the everyday life of border people. In this talk, I will talk about the politics of fencing and walling nations by employment of various apparatuses by the modern nation-states. I will also talk about how nation-state implemented political territorial borders shaped and continually re-shapes local histories of border communities and their memories at both subjective and collective levels with a particular focus on Turkish-Syrian border.


Ramazan Aras is Associate Professor of Social and Cultural Anthropology at the Department of Sociology at Ibn Haldun University in Istanbul. He is also Founding Director of Center for Oral History and Social Memory Studies at IHU. He received his Ph.D. degree in Anthropology from the University of Western Ontario in 2010. Previously, he has worked at the Departments of Anthropology at both Western University (Canada) and at Mardin Artuklu University (Turkey). He is the author of The Formation of Kurdishness in Turkey: Political Violence, Fear and Pain (Routledge, 2013), Crossing Borders: Socio-cultural Anthropology and Interdisciplinary Approaches in Turkey (Edit., 2014, in Turkish), Landmine and Smuggler: The Making and Unmaking Practices of Turkish-Syrian Border (2015, in Turkish) and The Wall: The Making and Unmaking of Turkish Syrian Border (Palgrave, 2020). His main research areas are anthropology of state, anthropology of emotions, memory, social trauma, body, place, borders and borderlands, migration, oral history, anthropology of secularism and Islam.

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