Highway 31: A road trip through the heart of modern India
This talk follows the route of State Highway 31 through western Madhya Pradesh, central India. It is both jaunty road-trip and abject lesson in how to read the global order. This journey takes us through landscapes of sex work and opium, some of the oldest nationalist networks in the country, and along the fault-lines of long-running tensions between local communities. The road was one of a series built as a public private partnership and, as such, speaks of the reconfiguration of state relations with private capital and business. Toll booths become places of company ethos, education and for the creation of new kinds of citizens. The nexus of government and private enterprise takes us on a dizzying journey through the world’s tax havens and onto the decks of luxury yachts and lifestyles. Exploring the broader political economy of the road, and the organisation of institutions and travellers that sustain it, encourages questions about governance, sovereignty and ultimately the great warming/derangement of climate change.
26 January 2021, 14:00 (Tuesday, 2nd week, Hilary 2021)
Venue to be announced
Ed Simpson (SOAS< University of London)
Asian Studies Centre
Organiser contact email address:
Modern South Asian Studies Seminar Series