Aditya Kiran Kakati

Aditya holds a doctorate in International History and (with Minor in Anthropology and Sociology), from the Graduate Institute, Geneva (IHEID). His PhD thesis was titled Living on the Edge: How encounters with global war (WWII) re-made the Indo-Burma frontiers into bordered-worlds. The thesis addresses the role of WWII in the state-making, governance and spatial history of the China-India-Myanmar border zone. Rather than the history of the war, he outlines how wartime events and conditions shaped the nature of political engagements in the region, which in turn shaped long-term securitisation, bordering and development with continuities up to the present.

Aditya has been granted a Research Fellowship, at the International Institute for Asian Studies (llAS) in Leiden, the Netherlands (February-November 2021). Thereafter he will pursue a postdoctoral project as an Early-Postdoctoral Mobility Fellow, granted by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) in the University of Amsterdam, Netherlands (December 2021-May 2022) and SOAS University of London, United Kingdom (June 2022-May 2023). The postdoctoral project is titled Blind Spots and Blank Spaces: Border Worlds and Frontiers at large (1944-1962), which examines the relationships between violence, development, infrastructure, and state-making to investigate how ‘remoteness’ is historically produced at the margins of emergent nation-states, which in turn has created shadow zones of armed violence and illicit economies. He has previously visited Europaeum-Oxford University (2015), Princeton University (2016-2017), and the Institute of Human Sciences (IWM), Vienna (2018) respectively as a Fellow, and is currently engaged with projects with the Highland Institute, Nagaland as a Senior Research Fellow, which includes an edited volume. He is also an Associate Editor of The Highlander Journal, which is a newly established open-access international academic journal. Aditya’s MA thesis was an ethnographic project titled Eating Ethnic Enclaves: Cultural Encounters in Liminal Spaces of Eating in the Context of Migrations from the Eastern Himalayan Region. The research was on emergence of ethnic cuisine, restaurant and labour cultures, identity politics, and socio-cultural relations arising from minority community migration from borderland conflict zones within India. He keenly maintains his culinary pursuits, mostly in the home kitchen and occasionally in public forums. Aditya hails from Assam in India and completed his undergraduate studies in History from St Stephen’s College, New Delhi, and a MA in International History from Geneva.