Materializing Nationhood: the Many Roles of Built Landscape Management Policy in Post-Partition India and Pakistan
Author(s): Erin Riggs
This paper discusses built landscape management policies put in place during the aftermath of the 1947 Partition of India and Pakistan. It is argued that the management of out-migrant associated buildings (both monumental and residential) was influenced by three divergent goals of nationhood: (1) modernization, (2) secularism, and (3) cultural cohesion. These goals pointed towards conflicting actions. Providing shelter to millions of incoming refugees required the hasty allocation of dwelling spaces. Establishing a shared sense identity required repackaging built heritage as something commensurate with emergent understandings of national histories. Finally, upholding ideals of modernism and scientific objectivity required protecting architecturally significant sites, regardless of their cultural origins. In this case, the diverse uses of built landscapes evidence the complexity of the relationship between nationalism and materials. Archaeological interpretations commonly focus on this relationship in terms of cultural symbolism and historic origins. However, materials also function as symbols of emergent, contemporary goals, investments, and identities. While materials can be leveraged as evidence of a nation’s historic depth and cohesion, they can also be leveraged as evidence of associations in the present and future. Through discussion of this case, how archaeology might engage with broader understandings of materializations of nationhood is considered.
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Materializing Nationhood: the Many Roles of Built Landscape Management Policy in Post-Partition India and Pakistan. Erin Riggs. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430298)
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min long: 59.678; min lat: 4.916 ; max long: 92.197; max lat: 37.3 ;
Abstract Id(s): 17626