Studying Borderlands: Talking Ethnography with Dr. Sahana Ghosh

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How do border policing and violence intersect with gender and sexuality to affect border communities? Today’s guest, Dr. Sahana Ghosh, Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the National University of Singapore, tells us about her research on the borderlands of India and Bangladesh. She describes how she transitioned from studying literature to anthropology, and from doing social work with female victims of human trafficking along the border to researching the lives of those who live along the border. She explains how her ethnographic research came to focus on many different social spaces and people—courts, border police, and communities on both sides of the border—describing specifically the ways the border’s militarization affected both her research and the lives of those who experienced it. Finally, she discusses her use of visual anthropological perspectives, and how the camera and its use by her interlocutors became an object of ethnographic analysis.

Alex Diamond is a Ph.D. candidate in sociology at the University of Texas, Austin. Sneha Annavarapu is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Chicago.

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