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The Politics of “Post-conflict”: On the Ground in South Asia

I am pleased to announce a new open access Cultural Anthropology Hot Spots forum, featuring essays from 14 scholars using “post-conflict” as a lens on Afghanistan, Kashmir, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. Co-edited by Sara Shneiderman and me, with contributions from Mona Bhan, Vivian Choi, Noah Coburn, Anila Daulatzai, Thushara Hewage, Dhana Hughes, Heather Hindman, Dan […]

Check it out: Dhana Hughes’ book on the 1987 JVP insurrection in Souther Sri Lanka

  I encourage anybody who is interested in Sri Lankan political history to read Dhana Hughes’ new book on the 1987 JVP insurrection, which covers a time known as “The Terror” (Bheeshanaya).  Much of the focus on Sri Lanka’s political conflict is on the civil war in the north and east with the different Tamil […]

Here down in Birganj

I’ve now been in the city of Birganj, in Nepal’s Parsa district for a month and half and I’ve yet to post anything.  This is in part because it has taken me a bit of time to absorb this place, I’ve been hectic with both field research and writing projects, and I’ve had an entertaining, […]

Queen Elizabeth II’s 1961 visit to Nepal: What can a retrospective view tell us about the present?

This is a great video to get a sense of  how Nepal was framed for the British public in the early sixties. You can see where the roots of certain essentialisms came from, especially Nepal as an exotic Shangri-La that is “friendly to the west but holding jealously to its own standards of values and […]

“Are Sherpa Guides Safe?”: The Risks of Uncritical Orientalism

There has been a lot written about the fight that broke out on Everest on April 27th between three elite alpinists and Sherpa mountaineers. The situation came at a bad time and brought a lot of unwelcome press during the 60 year anniversary  of Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary’s Everest summit. The Guardian’s headline aptly captures […]

Social Commentary on Kathmandu’s Road Expansion Project

I’ve been getting a lot of verbal feedback on my blog post on the road expansion project.  I wish people would post their comments for everyone to read. Since they have not, I’ll share a few choice insights.  First off, I must be doing something right because based on my argument I was accused of being […]

Kathmandu Becoming a (Post) Modern City: Road Expansion Project

I’ve been in Kathmandu for a week.  It’s changed quite a bit since I was last here in 2011. The most striking thing is the road expansion project. It’s a sorely needed infrastructure overhaul to deal with the rapid increase in private vehicle ownership.  The project has had mixed results, creating the effect of a […]

Anarchy in the Nepali Student Unions: Some Sociohistorical Context

I’ve been meaning to comment on Thira Bhusal’s piece on the growing anarchy in the Nepali Student Unions. Such anarchy is no surprise to me or anyone else who follows Nepali politics. This article opens with a summary of the lethargy amongst the three largest student unions. Neither the All Nepal Free Student Union (ANNFSU […]