chapter  5
16 Pages

Zomia and beyond 1

WithJean Michaud

This chapter explores how we might further our understandings of the uplands of Asia by applying different terms such as ‘Haute-Asie’, the ‘Southeast Asian Massif’, the ‘Hindu Kush–Himalayan region’, the ‘Himalayan Massif’, and in particular ‘Zomia’, a neologism popularized with the publication of James C. Scott’s 2009 book, The Art of not being Governed: An Anarchist History of Upland Southeast Asia. Through a discussion of the notion of Zomia, I will reconsider certain views regarding highland Asian studies. In the process, I seek to contribute to disembedding minority studies from the national straitjackets that have been imposed by academic research bounded by the historical, ideological, and political limits of the nation state.