Current Institutional Affiliation
Adjunct Professor, Anthropology/Sociology, Nepa School of Social Sciences and Humanities

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 2001
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Anthropology, Cornell University
Contested Histories: Identity and Indigenous People's Movement in Nepal

The primary objective of my research is to develop an understanding of the relationship between representations of history, the production of identity, and relations of power in the context of indigenous peoples' movements and transforming national and global processes in Nepal/South Asia. I am particularly concerned in this research with the development of new social consciousness at the local level and how history works in the self-definition of indigenous groups as they form themselves in the new identity politics of Nepal. This research will involve analyzing recent contestations between official historical narratives and alternative histories produced by indigenous activists. I will also examine the impact of these developments in historical discourse at the center on local historical narratives. I address three general questions: 1) How can we characterize the emerging practices of history making in contemporary Nepal and their relationship to the construction of identity? 2) Are these practices of history giving birth to new ways of conceptualizing multicultural society and the state in Nepal? 3) How do these practices reflect the interplay of local and global processes namely the discourses of human rights, development, and democracy? I will collect information for my research collaboratively within the framework of participatory action research.