Jordan , Mariangela: Travel Grant - 2017-2018

College of Arts and Sciences
Project Title: 
You Are Not My Brother: Mizo Nationalism at the Edge of the Empire
Project Abstract: 
Building on the anthropology of nationalism, the anthropology of the state, and the interdisciplinary works on ethnicity, identity, and historicity, this research project looks at Mizoram (a Northeast Indian state bordering Burma and Bangladesh) to examine how Mizos make sense of their identities through their interactions with the ethnically and morally “others,” while at the same time employing subtle strategies of evasion to escape Indian nationalist projects. The Young Mizo Association (YMA), a large-scale Mizo civil society whose self-declared core responsibility is to uphold the Twaln Ngaihna (the unspoken law)—a combination of Christian-inspired ethics and pre-colonial Mizo moral codes—emerges as a central actor that shapes ideas of Mizoness and Mizo nationalism. By revealing how YMA’s moral panic campaigns against ethnic and moral minorities lay at the center of contemporary Mizo-self articulation, this project seeks to reveal what kind of Mizo subjects and what kind of a Mizo nation does the YMA aspire to produce?