Non-Refugee Refugees: Tibetans’ Struggles for Visibility in Bureaucratic India

© 2013 Dlo08

Last week I participated in student conference called “The Fantastic and the Banal” hosted by the anthropology Department at the University of Colorado Boulder. The conference’s call for paper listed the following:

“Bureaucracy is mundane and absurd, blasé and infuriating, orderly and convoluted. Weber recognized the paradoxical qualities of bureaucracy, heralding it as the hallmark of modern social organization – one that promises routinization, standardization, and rationality, but also delivers tedium and disenchantment. Bureaucracy is clarity-meets-opacity par excellence with a dash of the superfluous, the ridiculous, and the impossibly kind thrown in as well. In this conference, we aim to rethink bureaucracy by attending to its iterations and contradictions, from the banal to the fantastic. We contend that bureaucratic authority is crucial for understanding contemporary issues across the humanities and social sciences, including, but not limited to, various forms of governmentality; humanitarianism; development projects…

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