Current Institutional Affiliation
Professor, Anthropology, Dartmouth College

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 2002
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Anthropology, Cornell University
Himalayan Healers in Transition: Professionalization and Identity among Tibetan Medicine Practitioners in Nepal

This project asks why, and to what extent, Tibetan medicine practitioners (amchi from Nepal are professionalizing in relation to Nepal's state-development apparatus, biomedicine, institutions of Tibetan medicine, and their patients and home villages. Amchi professionalization is a lens through which to view culture change and identity contestation between individuals and localities, between states and their marginal peoples as well as their diasporic communities. This project explores how new forms of praxis (clinics, schools, professional associations, etc.) affect what it means to be a "good" amchi today. This ethnographic research in Nepal and India will trace and theorize the strategies employed by amchi to transform and defend their practice, and the attendant medical, social, and cultural impacts of this process of change.