This panel aims to explore the moral, political and affective dimensions of 'nomadism', a categorisation that does not account for emplacements that are temporally and spatially complex and often at odds with the imperatives of modernity.
Nomadism, long seen from the point of view of urban dominant societies as deviant, has oft been the foil against which good, sedentary and properly productive ways of life have been constructed and imbued with value. This panel aims to explore the moral, political and affective dimensions of nomadism.
The nomad categorisation is a reification of a way of life that does not account for emplacements that are temporally and spatially more complex than the simple designation allows for. Nomadism can in turn be a reason for the state to move you on or forcibly emplace you; a badge of honour and an important component in the construction of self and other; something tourists seek for an 'authentic' experience; and a form of resistance to capitalist modes of production.
Attention to nomadism illuminates assumptions about emplacement and belonging, and the perceived threat of uncontrollable mobility. It also opens a space for understanding subaltern ways of being in the world that are both forged in the crucible of modernity but also offer alternative means to survive its seemingly inexorable advance.
Andrew Leary (Australian National University)