In the 1950s, thousands of ordinary Tibetans rose up to defend their country and religion against Chinese troops. Their citizen army fought through 1974 with covert support from the Tibetan exile government and the governments of India, Nepal, and the United States. Decades later, the story of this resistance is only beginning to be told and has not yet entered the annals of Tibetan national history. In Arrested Histories, the anthropologist and historian Carole McGranahan shows how and why histories of this resistance army are “arrested” and explains the ensuing repercussions for the Tibetan refugee community.
Drawing on rich ethnographic and historical research, McGranahan tells the story of the Tibetan resistance and the social processes through which this history is made and unmade, and lived and forgotten in the present. Fulfillment of veterans’ desire for recognition hinges on the Dalai Lama and “historical arrest,” a practice in which the telling of certain pasts is suspended until an undetermined time in the future. In this analysis, struggles over history emerge as a profound pain of belonging. Tibetan cultural politics, regional identities, and religious commitments cannot be disentangled from imperial histories, contemporary geopolitics, and romanticized representations of Tibet. Moving deftly from armed struggle to nonviolent hunger strikes, and from diplomatic offices to refugee camps, Arrested Histories provides powerful insights into the stakes of political engagement and the cultural contradictions of everyday life.
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""Arrested Histories" is dense with insights, as well as new ways of looking at its subjects. It shows incredible range, from person- and innovative family-centered approaches to broad regional analysis, to even broader international relations on the borders between Tibet, India, and China and on the border-like edge of relations between the Tibetan resistance army and the CIA. A book that will be of intense interest to scholars interested in incisive political economic analysis of imperial formations of any era or locale."--Catherine Lutz, author of" Homefront: A Military City and the American Twentieth Century"About the Author:
Carole McGranahan is Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Colorado, Boulder. She is a co-editor of Imperial Formations.
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