This is an insightful historical work on borders and bordered existences, with special emphasis on the gender dimensions of these existences. The author argues that the experiences of women living on borders and in borderlands are definitive of those of the vulnerable communities who bear the brunt of the complex border and security issues. The conditions of migrant women, women peace campaigners, and victims of human trafficking and mobile diseases are presented as markers of bordered existences. Their history is one of negotiations with structures of control, leading to insecurity, subversion, endurance and a different kind of existence. Thus, this book adopts a critical feminist history angle.
Borders, Histories, Existences: Gender and Beyond contends that borders are, by definition, lines of inclusion and exclusion established by the state. It analyses how states construct borders and try to make them static and rigid and how bordered existences, such as women, migrant workers, victims of human trafficking, etc., destabilise the rigid constructs. It explores the political conditions that have made borders problematic in post-colonial South Asia and how these borders have become regions of extreme control or violence.
The book contains new research data and original theories and would provide crucial information to those studying colonial and post-colonial history, politics and international relations, South Asia studies and sociology.
Paula Banerjee specializes in issues of border and borderlands in South Asia. She has published extensively on issues of gender, forced migration and peace politics. Her recent publications include a volume entitled Borders, Histories, Existences: Gender and Beyond (2010). S he has edited a volume entitled Women in Peace Politics (2008) and co-edited books on Internal Displacement in South Asia (2005), Autonomy beyond Kant and Hermeneutics (2007) and Marginalities and Justice (2009). S he has been working on themes related to women, borders and democracy in South Asia, and has published extensively in journals such as International Studies and Canadian Women's Studies on issues such as histories of borders and women in conflict situations. S he was the former Head of the Department in the Department of South and Southeast Asian Studies, University of Calcutta, and is currently Associate Professor in the same Department. She is also the Vice President of International Association for Study of Forced Migration.