Lives and deaths of the imagination in war's shadow

in Social Anthropology/Anthropologie sociale
Wendy James University of Oxford

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There is plenty for anthropologists to explore in the vicinity of war, without actually doing ‘fieldwork under fire’ on the battlefield. This article, based on a presentation in 2010 at the EASA conference in Maynooth, reviews some recent studies of the longer‐term consequences of frontier insecurity and warfare for local populations. It focuses on work by Heonik Kwon in Vietnam, Mukulika Banerjee on the Pakistan–Afghan border, and Richard Vokes on Uganda. All these reflect on war as it is understood from afar, and the ways that resistance and response may take imaginative forms, including new kinds of violence, among affected communities.

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