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Project: Kashmir from the Margins: Violence, Identity and Memory in Conflicted Spaces

In this research project, I study emerging literature written in English from a conflicted space, Kashmir and how the narratives impact or alter the concept of postcoloniality.

About the project

Project managers
Amrita Ghosh
Participating organizations
Linnaeus University
Linnaeus University Centre for Concurrences in Colonial and Postcolonial Studies
Literature, English, History, Film Studies, Border Studies

More about the project

The Partition of India in 1947 is undoubtedly merged with the painful history of Kashmir, whose genesis lies in the post-Partition arbitrary construction of borders and its eventual territorial battle between India and Pakistan. The pressing problem of Kashmir till this day exists as a haunting reminder of the events of 1947. Kashmir's alliance to either India or Pakistan continuously remains a point of strife for both nuclear nations that have erupted in three wars. The violence in this conflicted space has led to a massive military presence in the Kashmir valley. The nineties witnessed the mass exile of the Kashmiri Hindu Pandit community and Kashmir has virtually become this in-between contentious space, a no-man's land caught between the two-statist ideologies. However, the people of the land and their voices have been severely repressed in this disputed space.

In this project, I investigate recent emerging literature written in English, as well as film and photography from Kashmir and study the various concepts of postcoloniality in its manifold representations in the literature. I will study these texts to evaluate narratives of power, terror, trauma and identity construction in postcolonial conflicted territories. I am interested in investigating the concept of violence as in its covert and overt effects on conceptualizing the Kashmiri identity. Some of the questions I will explore in the narratives are: How does literature from emergency zones represent the concept of citizenship? How do these texts deal with survival and healing amidst "states of exception"? What shapes identities in conflicted spaces? How does the question of gender play a role in emergency zones like Kashmir? How can we also theorize these texts as literature of trauma?