Tibetan peregri-nations: mobility, incommensurable nationalisms and (un)belonging athwart the Himalayas

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Putting into context the sentiment expressed by Tibetans on both sides of the Himalayas that true Tibet is located elsewhere, this essay focuses on an under-commented-upon consequence of Tibetan trans-Himalayan mobilities since 1959: the creation of two incommensurable modes of nationalism. One of these is territorial, the other embodied in the form of the Dalai Lama himself. The result of this dual nationalism has not been mutual compatibility and an increase in potential modes of Tibetan belonging, but mutual interference and a broadened scope for unbelonging. As such, the dispersed spatiality of community it enacts is reminiscent not so much of the romantic, organic unity of Herderian modes of (methodological) nationalism as it is of Heine's experiences of manifold unbelonging and contemporary German-Jewish articulations of a 'portable homeland'. Ultimately, to reckon with such originary unbelonging, theories of diaspora and mobility must treat concepts of both home and mobility as mixtures of stability and instability, movement and stasis.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRegimes of mobility
Subtitle of host publicationimaginaries and relationalities of power
EditorsNoel B. Salazar, Nina Glick Schiller
Place of PublicationLondon ; New York
PublisherRoutledge, Taylor and Francis Group
Number of pages17
ISBN (Print)9781138013032
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Originally published in Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, volume 39, issue 2 (February 2013), pp. 219-235.


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