Shelley Feldman

Constructing States and Citizens: Partition as a Social Project

Discussions of the 1947 partition of South Asia often presume the dramatic and violent division of the subcontinent as the basis for the formation of a Muslim majority and Hindu majority state: East and West Pakistan and India. In this paper, I reframe this popular understanding of partition through an exploration of the myriad ways in which states unfold as social projects as, for example, through the promotion of regulations regarding who is and is not recognized as a citizen of the nation. I examine such
regulations and attend to the practices that constitute the making of home and belonging, including the significance of social as well as territorial claims of borders and boundaries.