Abstract

Oushakine starts his introduction to the forum on "Unsettling Nomadism" with a historical and bibliographical detour. By looking at Soviet and post-Soviet scholarship on nomadic societies, he traces an intellectual tradition that would either dismiss nomadism as a "civilizational mistake" or glorify it as an example of exceptionalism, as a "special" – alternative – path of historical development. As Oushakine suggests, these negative and positive attempts to encapsulate nomadism, in fact, obfuscate important conceptual and ethnographic contributions that studies of nomadism could make. Using Central Asian rugs as his key metaphor, Oushakine suggests that we could take nomadic practices of multidirectionality and diffusion as important models for understanding the fluctuant relations with space practiced by contemporary nomads.

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Additional Information

ISSN
2164-9731
Print ISSN
2166-4072
Pages
pp. 53-82
Launched on MUSE
2012-09-07
Open Access
No
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