Professor of Anthropology and Feminist, Gender and Sexuality Studies and Asian Studies;
Academic Supervisor, Nepali Language
Ph.D., Cornell University, 1979
Office: McGraw 224
Research Interests: sociocultural anthropology, gender, narrative, social change, life histories, ethnohistory, Nepal, Himalayas, Tibet
I have worked on questions of anthropology, gender and social change in Himalayan Asia since 1973. My present interests in the political and economic pressures on local ethnic communities have evolved directly from earlier commitments to understanding how society and culture interact through time, and how individual people's lives are framed within these contexts, with particular reference to gender, women's lives, and social justice. In approaching these issues, I attend most carefully to language and ritual, broadly conceived. Most of my evidence is drawn from interviews, life histories, and personal stories to explore how people talk about what concerns them. In addition, I am curious about the different ways in which people relate their own experiences and reflections to larger cultural and esthetic frameworks, such as those of ritual, religion and song. I have done research across much of north central Nepal, among Sherpa and, especially, Tamang communities there. My teaching reflects these interests directly: my core teaching lies in anthropology, gender and Himalayan studies. I also founded and continue to supervise the Cornell-Nepal Study Program, which is a joint research and training initiative with the national Tribhuvan University, where both American and Nepali students and scholars study and undertake field research from a residential community base in Kirtipur, Nepal.
- Cornell/Nepal Study Program
- Summer Nepali Program
- Digital Himalaya
- Tamang Historical Document Collection
- Cornell Institute of Public Affairs
- Feminist, Gender & Sexuality Studies
- Two houses and the pain of separation in Tamang narratives from highland Nepal. IN (G. Raheja, ed.) Oral Tradition: South Asian women’s oral narratives New Delhi: Kali for Women Press.
- “If each comes halfway”: meeting Tamang women in Nepal. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.
- Local production/local knowledge: forced labor from below. (With David Holmberg and Suryaman Tamang) Studies in Nepali history and society 4(1): 5-64.
- Engendered bodies, embodied genders. IN (Skinner, D., A. Pach & D. Holland, eds.) Selves in time and place: identities, experience & history in Nepal, pp 219-236. Boulder, CO: Rowman & Littlefield, Pubs.
- Women, hospitality and beer. Reprinted IN (Carole Counihan and Steven Kaplan, eds.) Food and Gender: Identity and Power, pp. 45-80. New York: Gordon and Breach.
- Weaving, writing and gender. Man 18: 729-744.