Patrick DeSutter

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Engineering the Border: Islands of Containment and Mobility in Bangladesh
Department:
Anthropology
Term:
Summer 2019

My research focuses on contemporary border regimes in Bangladesh. I investigate the way that borders proliferate in a number of situations in order to govern people and engineer spaces in a multitude of ways. Currently, my research focuses on two specific sites. First is the ongoing project of the Bangladeshi government and Chinese and British engineering firms to turn Bhasan Char - a small silt island in the Bay of Bengal - into a refugee camp island capable of housing hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims fleeing the genocide in Myanmar. I am interested in the conceptions of humanitarianism, nature, and the nation-state that are involved in this project. Second, I look at Export Processing Zones, particularly around Dhaka, to understand the way that borders function very differently for global capital, locally situated labor, and circulating commodities. Finally, I consider the way that citizens and governments operate with an impression of nation-states as distinct entities when they are riven with such heterogeneous borders.Patrick DeSutter