The mountains separating Pakistan and Afghanistan are home to nomads and pastoralists, who rely on centuries old pathways with little concern for modern state boundaries. They are also the site of America’s largest and most intense drone campaign and the only place in the world to experience a significant comeback by polio. The border, created by the British Empire and the Afghan Shah, was never completely agreed upon, and raises question about colonial legacies, the nature of the war on terror, international respect for human rights and the future of citizenship. This course takes an anthropological, historical and political approach to the region, and will consider concepts such as the role of tribes, ethnicity, empires and states in constructing political and social identities.
This course is aimed particularly at students who are interested in participating in CAPA’s leadership seminar, which includes young leaders from Afghanistan and Pakistan. Evaluation will be based upon participation in class discussion and the seminar, as well as a series of papers.