Shifting watersheds, borderless maps, and imperial geography

The Historic Journal not too long ago revealed Kyle Gardner’s “Shifting Watersheds, Borderless Maps, and Imperial Geography in India’s Northwestern Himalaya”. The summary:

This text makes use of the British colonial historical past of border making in northern India to look at the assumptions and contradictions at work within the theorizing, configuring, and mapping of frontiers and borders. It focuses, specifically, on the event of the ‘water-parting precept’ – whereby the sting of a watershed is taken into account to be the border – and the way this precept was used to find out boundaries within the northwestern Himalaya, a area that had long-established notions of border factors, however no borderlines. By the 20th century, the water-parting precept would turn into the dominant boundary logic for demarcating borders in mountainous areas, and can be employed by statesmen, treaty editors, and boundary commissioners around the globe. However for the northwestern Himalaya, a area that British colonial officers thought of to be the ‘most interesting pure mixture of boundary and barrier that exists on this planet’, making a border proved way more tough than anticipated.

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