New Books in Asian Studies: The Frontier Complex with Kyle Gardner

Rebecca Russell's picture
March 31, 2021
District Of Columbia, United States
Subject Fields: 
Diplomacy and International Relations, Asian History / Studies, Colonial and Post-Colonial History / Studies, Political History / Studies, South Asian History / Studies

The Sigur Center for Asian Studies will host our non-resident scholar Kyle J. Gardner to launch his new book, The Frontier Complex: Geopolitics and the Making of the India-China Border, 1846-1962, as the third edition of the 2021 New Books in Asian Studies series. This event will also feature Dr. Bérénice Guyot-Réchard of King's College London as a discussant and Sigur Center Director Benjamin D. Hopkins as a moderator. The webinar begins at 10am EDT/3pm BST; check your local time by selecting the event date and your time zone.

Gardner reveals the transformation of the historical Himalayan entrepôt of Ladakh into a modern, disputed borderland through an examination of rare British, Indian, Ladakhi, and Kashmiri archival sources. In doing so, he provides both a history of the rise of geopolitics and the first comprehensive history of Ladakh’s encounter with the British Empire. He examines how colonial border-making practices transformed geography into a political science and established principles that a network of imperial frontier experts would apply throughout the empire and bequeath to an independent India.

Through analyzing the complex of imperial policies and practices, The Frontier Complex reveals how the colonial state transformed, and was transformed by, new ways of conceiving of territory. Yet, despite a century of attempts to craft a suitable border, the British failed. The result is an imperial legacy still playing out across the Himalayas. Gardner has shared his expertise of the Ladakh region following the China-India border clashes last year on Deutsche Welle TVTimes of IndiaObserver Research Foundation, and more.

For this month's book giveaway: Attend with the name you registered as and submit a question to be entered to win. Advance questions can be sent to with subject "NBAS: Kyle Gardner" or directly posted in the live Q&A. The Sigur Center will purchase the book from a local DC bookstore and pay for shipping. The contest is open to U.S. addresses only. 1 entry per person regardless of the number of questions submitted.

Registration closes at 10:00am EDT on March 30. Registered guests will receive an email with instructions for joining WebEx prior to the event. Media inquiries must be sent to in advance. If you need specific accommodations, please contact with at least 3 business days' notice. This event is free, open to the public, and will be recorded.

The Frontier Complex: Geopolitics and the Making of the India-China Border, 1846-1962 is available from Cambridge University Press with a 20% discount using code FRCO2021.

Contact Info: 

Miriam Grinberg

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