Discourse on Newa civilization: Were the Malla kings Newars or Thakuris?

The ongoing debate on Facebook and beyond about classifying the Malla kings as Newar or Thakuri has sparked significant interest.

Democracy is not easy: Let it evolve and thrive

Democracy is not easy.  History clearly shows that successful democracies take time. Democracy in England can be traced back to

How evidence-based policymaking can help Nepal control air pollution

Air pollution is a silent, yet pervasive threat to human health, and its impact is felt acutely in regions like

In Nepal, why has implementing the diplomatic code of conduct become a tough job?

Kathmandu: Narayan Kaji Shrestha wears many hats. He is the leader from the ruling Maoist Center and he currently serves

Impact of economic tourism policies on local communities

Economic tourism policies, designed to attract visitors and boost local economies, are a double-edged sword. On one side, they can

21st BNAC Nepal Study Days organized in Scotland

BNAC invited Bidhya Chapagain and Kamal Kumar, the founders of Herne Katha, to present a preview of their latest film 'The Lost Years' in a cinema-length 75-min director's cut version

Organizing team of the Nepal Study Days 2024 in Edinburgh

Edinburgh: The 21st BNAC Nepal Study Days took place on May 13. 

The event was jointly hosted by the University of Edinburgh and the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. 

A total of 35 academic papers on Nepal were presented for two days in 12 topical parallel sessions, 2 panel discussions, and 1 book discussion.  The presentations covered various topics, including environment, politics, migration, gender, disaster, Dalit, health and healing. 

With many excellent papers, particularly by young scholars, the two-day event also saw some interesting spoilers. For instance, a preview of the forthcoming extensive Routledge Handbook of the Himalayas, which Ben Campell co-edited with Thanka Subba and Mary Cameron.

Campbell noted a turnaround in the reforestation of the central Himalayas and drew from gender perspectives, community-based conservation initiatives, and ethnographically informed studies of climate change projects to contemplate prospects for human-environmental interactions in which slow violence may be at work eroding the connections of language diversity and environmental knowledge.

Already in print and thus holding a larger panel discussion was Krishna Adhikari and David Gellner’s latest edited book: Nepal’s Dalits in Transition, which covers a wide range of specialist articles on contemporary Dalit studies in Nepal.

BNAC invites Herne Katha team to present their latest film ‘The Lost Years’ at the annual Nepal Study Days in Edinburgh

Herne Katha visits Nepal Study Days

This year, the BNAC, in collaboration with the research project ‘Heritage as Placemaking’, invited Bidhya Chapagain and Kamal Kumar, the founders of Herne Katha, to present a preview of their latest film ‘The Lost Years’ in a cinema-length 75-min director’s cut version. An audience of engaged scholars and Nepali community members from Scotland attended the event. 

An engaging question at the Q&A session highlighted the importance of Herne Katha’s documentary films in connecting the diaspora with the country of their childhood or that of their parents. 

PhD Dissertation Prize

Since 2018, the BNAC has awarded each year a dissertation prize for the best submitted chapter. This year, amongst the many submissions, there were four outstanding chapters, which made it very hard for the selection committee, including Prof Michael Hutt (SOAS), Dr. Kumud Rana (Lancaster), Dr Bidha Sumkhada (Huddersfield) and Dr Heidi Riley (Dublin) to settle on a decision.

The first prize went jointly to Alice Millington (Cambridge University) and Paula Tine (Victoria University of Wellington). 

The panel also named Kathrin Fischer (Oxford University) and Sudha Ghimire (Tribhuvan University) as the first runners-up.

Bina Khapung from Northumbria University, UK, presents a paper on Living with hazards: how household dynamics shape people’s vulnerabilities in the mid-hills of Nepal.

Paola Tiné’s chapter, entitled ‘Feeling Social Change in the Gut: Gyāstrik and the Problematisation of Domestic Roles Among Newar Women in Contemporary Nepal’, examines how middle-class women in Bhaktapur experienced and made sense of gyāstrik (an umbrella term for multiple gut disorders) as an embodiment of social change. 

Alice Millington’s chapter, entitled ‘The fury of the khangba’, argues that the dismissal of Indigenous epistemologies has constrained scholarly understandings of hazards within disaster studies, sometimes leading to failures in the recording of such hazards. Millington provides a rich contextualisation of Indigenous understandings of glacial lake outbursts in Walung, Taplejung, that interweave accounts of religious, political, and socio-economic catastrophes not usually considered in analyses of geological catastrophes. 

Kathrin Fischer’s chapter, entitled ‘Between Fate and Choice – a multi-scalar analysis of migration decisions in Nepal’, combines agentic and structural aspects of decision-making around labor migration that are often separated in the wider literature on empowerment and migration. The paper shows how migrants simultaneously embrace and negotiate migration opportunities.

Sudha Ghimire’s chapter, entitled ‘Multilayered transformation through participating activities: Building agency and awareness for menstruation hygiene management’, provides an innovative analysis of how teenagers can develop a critical awareness of how views on menstruation in Nepal are entangled with sociocultural values.  The analysis is grounded in transformative learning theory and provides vital insights into dialogic and transformative spaces for exploring adolescent students’ menstruation-related issues.