Current Institutional Affiliation
Associate Professor, Geography, University of North Carolina / Chapel Hill

Award Information

Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Intimate Geopolitics: Love, Babies, and the Making of Territory in Ladakh

Intimate geopolitics is a book about broken hearts, concerned parents, and intimacy as the material through which territory is made or unmade in Jammu and Kashmir’s Ladakh region. Geographers and feminists have written about the body as a territory, but I trace the ways that bodies make territory, and how territory is tied to youth and the future. This theoretical argument is grounded in the narratives of women and men living in the midst of a territorial uncertainty that colors their intimate lives. My argument is drawn from discussions with people coping with and sometimes refusing this territorial logic; I bring their struggles in conversation with recent literature on territory, medicalized bodies, the politics of life, and the future. Caught between India’s disputed borders with China and Pakistan, politics in Ladakh’s Leh District have become tied to religion and intimate daily life – in particular family planning and the regulation of intimacy between the district’s Buddhist majority and Sunni and Shia minorities. Drawing on research conducted from 2004 2010, including life history interviews, a survey of 192 women, interviews with religious and political leaders, and youth oral history and photography projects, this book comprises an intervention into the concept of territory.