Remoteness and Modernity Transformation and Continuity in Northern Pakistan Shafqat Hussain

Yale Agrarian Studies Series
Publication date:
11 Jun 2015
Yale University Press
280 pages: 235 x 156 x 22mm
13 b-w illus.
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A penetrating anthropological inquiry into remote areas as understood by their inhabitants and by the outsiders who encounter them

This groundbreaking book is the first sustained anthropological inquiry into the idea of remote areas. Shafqat Hussain examines the surprisingly diverse ways the people of Hunza, a remote independent state in Pakistan, have been viewed by outsiders over the past century. He also explores the Hunza people’s perceptions of British colonialists, Pakistani state officials, modern-day Westerners, and others, and how the local people used their remote status strategically, ensuring their own interests were served as they engaged with the outside world.

Shafqat Hussain is assistant professor of anthropology at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. He has worked on environmental conservation and rural development in remote regions of Pakistan, where he also runs an award-winning snow leopard conservation project. He lives in New Haven, CT.

“In this important work, Hussain provides a comprehensive yet fine-grained picture of the engagement of the region of Hunza with the outside world. I am an admirer of Hussain’s many articles and consider him to be an important younger voice in environmental anthropology and Himalayan ethnohistory.”—William R. Pinch, Professor of History, Wesleyan University, and Associate Editor, History and Theory

Remoteness and Modernity makes an original contribution regarding the politics of ‘remoteness’ in a place where they have played out in a particularly contradictory, ironic fashion.”—David McDermott Hughes, author of Whiteness in Zimbabwe: Race, Landscape, and the Politics of Belonging

“Modern fascination with distant lands is skillfully examined in this study . . . always lucid, eloquent, and very insightful, even as it is theoretically accomplished and vitally important to new directions in research on South Asia.”—K. Sivaramakrishnan, Yale University