BRINFAITH Religion and Empire Lecture Series (Oct 4): Hasan H. Karrar - Infrastructure and Connectivity across the Karakoram-Pamir Watershed, since 1918

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Hong Kong Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences

BRINFAITH Religion and Empire Lecture Series

Infrastructure and Connectivity across the Karakoram-Pamir Watershed, since 1918


Speaker: Dr. Hasan H. Karrar (Lahore University of Management Sciences)

Date & Time: October 4, 2021, 1:00 pm (HK time)

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Located at the crossroads of Central, East, and South Asia, the watershed that divides the Karakoram and Pamir mountains today also serves a geopolitical function in marking the territorial boundary between the People’s Republic of China and Pakistan. This high mountain region is home to the Kirghiz and the Wakhi, people who previously had moved within the Karakoram and Pamir mountains pursuing small trade, in search of fresh pasture, and occasionally for political reasons. Situating himself on the “Karakoram side”, in this talk, Dr. Hasan H. Karrar will describe how, beginning in the twentieth century, this region was transformed into a frontier by distant political centers projecting sovereignty; furthermore, this frontier would continue to iterate for the next century. Pivoting from the origins of postal service across the Karakoram-Pamir — which arrived in Misgar, the northernmost settlement in British India, in 1918 — to mid-century aviation, road construction, and finally economic corridor development under the Belt and Road Initiative, Dr. Karrar will illustrate how these particular infrastructural forms, which on the one hand enhanced connectivity, have also kept the region subservient to national and transnational interests, from the early twentieth century to the present.


About the Speaker
Hasan H. Karrar is an Associate Professor in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at the Lahore University of Management Sciences, Pakistan. He has published research on China, Central Asia, and the Karakoram region in north Pakistan. His current research is variously focused on bazaars and small traders, informality and financialization, and everyday securitization and development.


The event is organized by the CRF Project “Infrastructures of Faith: Religious Mobilities on the Belt and Road [BRINFAITH]” (RGC CRF HKU C7052-18G), which is hosted by the ASIAR - Asian Religious Connections Research Cluster in HKIHSS.

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