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Scholarly Works - MIASU - Where Rising Powers Meet


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Now showing 1 - 5 of 5
  • ItemOpen Access
    Predstavlenia o granitse v Kitae i Rossii: Popytka kontseptualizatsii problemy
    (Higher School of Economics : National Research University, 2012) Bille, Franck
  • ItemOpen Access
    Surface Modernities: Open-Air Markets, Containment and Verticality in Two Border Towns of Russia and China
    (National Research University, 2014-03) Bille, Franck
    This article focuses on the contrasting urbanisms that characterize the two cities of Heihe and Blagoveshchensk on the Sino-­Russian border. Since 1990, with the bulk of international trade taking place on the Chinese side, Heihe has rapidly developed into a modern town;; by contrast, Blagoveshchensk appears sedate and almost stagnant. Another stark contrast between the two cities is in the ways in which ideas of modernity are spatialized through their urban practices, with Blagoveshchensk demonstrating a preference for horizontal functionalism while Heihe largely follows the iconic and vertical model found in the megacities of the Chinese south. Foregrounding this very spatial imbalance, the paper argues that the Russian association between horizontality and modernity unwittingly collapses Heihe’s riverfront skyline into a smooth surface lacking depth, and renders invisible those economic drivers that operate below this surface as well as along a vertical axis. As a result of this, spatiality provides an initial cultural grid through which the development, success and modernity of the Other is assessed. The methodology followed in this article is primarily anthropological. The research was carried out in October and November 2011. A dozen semi-­structured and open-­ended interviews were conducted with informants of diverse ages and social backgrounds, including businessmen and women, academics, young professionals and students. This research was funded through a grant by the Newton Trust (Cambridge, UK).
  • ItemOpen Access
    Concepts of the Border in the Russian and Chinese Social Imaginaries
    (Cambridge: Open Book Publishers, 2012) Bille, FY
  • ItemOpen Access
    “Indirect Interpellations: Hate Speech and ‘Bad Subjects’ in Mongolia
    (Taylor & Francis, 2013-07-02) Bille, Franck
    This article examines anti-Chinese hate speech in Mongolia and argues that in spite of its prevalence and pervasiveness it remains limited to a Mongolian audience, essentially constituting a vector of social policing. Its violence is thus largely exerted on Mongolian citizens themselves, particularly those "bad subjects" whose personal and intimate aspirations do not dovetail with the "good of the nation." Through an ethnographic focus on Mongolian women, I illustrate how the experience of "bad subjects" intersects with nationalist narratives, both undercutting them and contributing to their perpetuation.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Territorial phantom pains (and other cartographic anxieties)
    (SAGE Publications, 2014-02) Billé, F
    National loss of territory is commonly described in corporeal language of mutilation and dismemberment. In this paper I argue that this language is not simply poetic or metaphoric but that it reflects a genuine association between the individual body and the national contours, and that this identification has been greatly facilitated by the emergence of the national map. In revisiting the common trope of the nation-as-body through inclusion of insights from neuroscience, I explore what happens when a lack of fit intervenes between the physical geographical extent of the nation and the mental map held by its inhabitants. Taking Manchuria as my main focus while suggesting a much wider applicability, I suggest that ‘lost’ territories, no longer included within the national body, remain nonetheless part of a previous national incarnation. As such, they draw national sentiments and affect, eliciting what can be labeled ‘phantom pains’.