Workshop: Performing Identity: Ethnicity and Ethno-nationalism in the South-east Asian Borderland Region of North-east India

Georg-August-University Göttingen,
Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology
in co-operation with the Centre for Modern Indian Studies and the competence network "Dynamics of Religion in Southeast Asia"

15 - 17 December 2011 in Göttingen, Germany

The region broadly referred to as North-east India comprises eight Indian states and is located along the western border of South-east Asia. Included in the South-east Asian borderland region of North-east India are the adjoining hill areas of Myanmar, Bhutan Himalayas, Chittagong Hill Tracts, and the Indo-China border in Arunachal Pradesh. Recognised by experts as a hotspot of linguistic, religious, political, cultural and ethnic diversity, this region is vastly unexplored even today. The focus on the performance of ethnic identities and nationalist aspirations in a politically complex area provides the opportunity to scrutinize an important and urgent topic with theoretical sophistication.


This inter-disciplinary workshop will bring together a substantial number of scientists working on North-east India and will give them a platform for sharing and discussing their field-work experiences and ongoing projects in a stimulating and creative atmosphere. Senior experts in the relevant disciplines will speak in the panels and comment on the participants' presentations to help them gain new insights.


The international workshop will be entirely conducted in English and will be hosted by the Institut für Ethnologie in co-operation with the Centre for Modern Indian Studies (CeMIS) of Göttingen University - a very appropriate co-operation given the theme and aims of the workshop. The BMBF-funded competence network "Dynamics of Religion in Southeast Asia" at Göttingen University provides a further stimulating context and an interested audience. The 35 scholars from over a dozen countries and over 20 universities spread all over the world all work on issues of identity and ethnicity in North-east India.