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1. A paper that was presented at The Urbanism & Urbanisation Conference at IUAV Venice in October 2011. It was also published in The Next Urban Question: Themes, Approaches, Tools, 2011. (eds) Valentina Brandieramonte, Kaveh Rashidzadeh, Paola Vigano Venice, Universita Iuav di Venezia.

2. An abstract that was accepted for the AAG Annual Meeting in Los Angeles in April 2013.

3. An abstract that was accepted for the conference "Diaspora Cities" in Queen Mary University London in 2009.

2. Reemergence of the Nomadic: Transnational assemblages of middling Iranians

This paper looks at the transnational lives of 27 ‘middling’ Iranians chosen from my own social network. Through mapping their transnational mobility, social networks and citizenship patterns, it tries to illustrate the dynamic assemblages that arise out of the entanglements of human and non-human elements, in search of emerging nomadic and sedentary properties.

An analysis of the three attributes of these assemblages — combinations, ties, and configurations, focusing on their territoriality, rigidity and hierarchy — shows the nature of their emergent agencies. This analysis is informed by Deleuze and Guattari’s theory of nomadology that bases its archetypal nomadic assemblage on the Mongolian mounted archers, deterritorialising the organisational and hierarchical assemblages of the State apparatus. 

In order to nuance this binary opposition of ‘pure’ nomads versus sedentary States, this study adopts the anthropological model of ‘enclosed nomadism’ (Barfield 1993) or ‘dimorphic society’ (Rowton 1977) — interactive fields of nomadic and sedentary elements in conflict and coexistence. The insights from these models will help identify ‘various coefficients of deterritorialisation’ (Delauze and Guattari 1987) in the assemblages that my respondents form through ties with other humans, organisms (e.g. pets and plants), artefacts (e.g. laptops and smart phones, furniture and homes, passports and homelands), and objects. These ties will be examined using insights from domestication and ‘semi-domestication’ literature (Ingold 2000). 

The paper proposes ‘enclosed nomadism’ or ‘dimorphism’ as a ‘transhistorical analytical concept’ (AlSayyad and Roy 2006) in order to study how these transnationally networked individuals relate to their environments in global cityspaces and cyberspace.

Keywords: nomadism, transnationalism, assemblages, domestication, Iranians.

Pooya Ghoddousi,
Jan 23, 2013, 4:48 AM
Pooya Ghoddousi,
Jan 23, 2013, 4:25 AM