I am a cultural and political anthropologist, currently working as a Visiting Assistant Professor at Hamilton College. I completed my Ph.D. in Anthropology at the University of Virginia in summer 2017. Broadly, my research examines changing narratives of national identity in the midst of Nepal’s constitutional transition from Hindu monarchy to secular federal republic. I have recently published articles/chapters on the gendered and regional exclusions that shape Nepali citizenship law, the politics of road-building and infrastructure in Kathmandu, and the nationalist significance of claiming Buddha’s birthplace in Nepal. Additionally, I have published an ethnographic short story on the obligations of relationship in transnational Nepali families.
I am currently working on two projects centered on social media in Nepal and the Nepali diaspora, with a particular focus on social media and the formation of personal, political, and gendered subjectivities. The working titles for these projects are “‘Alexa, Was Buddha Born in Nepal? Microcelebrity, Citizenship, and Digital Diaspora on YouTube” and “Confessions of Nepali Teenagers: Intimacy, Gender, and Nationalism on Facebook.”
In summer 2018, I returned to Nepal to begin field research for a new project, tentatively titled “Bureaucratizing Inequality: Nepal’s Civil Service in Transition.” This field research was funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Council of American Overseas Research Centers. Prior fieldwork was funded by grants from the Wenner-Gren Foundation and the University of Virginia.
If you’re interested in participating in my research or in collaborating, please feel free to get in touch with me!
The cover image for this page is a picture of the Trailokya Mohan Narayan temple in Kathmandu Durbar Square. I took this picture at a demonstration for human rights in December 2014/Pus 2071. The temple, like many others in the area, was destroyed by the earthquake on April 25, 2015/Baisakh 12, 2072.
UVaToday magazine published this photo essay about my research in Nepal, specifically focusing on the 2015 earthquakes.