Culture/Customs | Philosophy
Gender in the Himalayas: Feminist Explorations of Identity, Place, and Positionality engages with the vibrant field of feminist scholarship and brings together a collection of papers by scholars who have long-term research relations with communities in the Himalayan region. In considering the Himalaya as a frontier that is constituted by a range of context-specific forces as well as historically and politically positioned actors, the papers engage with the Himalayan region but are at once attentive to trans-local forces that configure gendered relations of work, mobility, mobilization, development, and activism. Through a critical reading of colonial and nationalist gendered discourses, the contributors demonstrate how gendered relations and subjects are configured through the projects of development, feminism, regional autonomy, and neo-liberalism more broadly. By drawing on their sustained engagement with specific field sites and participation with various local and non-local interlocuters, the collections offer a grounded assessment of the ways that feminist readings of everyday practices can illuminate cultural politics of difference, inequality, and exclusion. Of additional concern to several of the authors are the politics of knowledge production, including the ethics of transational feminist scholarshipm and the politics of positionality in research and representation.
By Phil Destschle
With his life in the balance as he hangs from a rope—alone, high in the Himalayas—a young idealist relives his relentless struggle as a Peace Corps volunteer in a remote village in Nepal.
When Phil Deutschle sets out for Nepal, he’s naively unaware of the ordeals he will face—striving to teach in the Nepali language, suffering from debilitating disease, painfully adapting to a foreign culture—but imperceptibly, over two years, he grows so attached to the village that he ultimately leaves it in tears. Following the alienation of his departure, he sets off on a reckless, solo climb of Mount Pharchamo, hardly caring whether he survives. Now, thirty-four years later, Deutschle returns to his village, intent on learning the fate of his family and his students in the wake of Nepal’s bloody Maoist civil war.
By Bernardo A. Michael
History | War
Statemaking and Territory in South Asia: Lessons from the Anglo-Gorkha War (1814-1816) seeks to understand how European colonization transformed the organization of territory in South Asia through an examination of the territorial disputes that underlay the Anglo–Gorkha War of 1814–1816 and subsequent efforts of the colonial state to reorder its territories. The volume argues that these disputes arose out of older tribute, taxation and property relationships that left their territories perpetually intermixed and with ill-defined boundaries. It also seeks to describe the long-drawn-out process of territorial reordering undertaken by the British in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries that set the stage for the creation of a clearly defined geographical template for the modern state in South Asia.
By Ian Gibson
Religion | Psychology of Religion
As soon as I began meeting Christians in the Nepali city of Bhaktapur, I noticed the importance of a particular type of story in their lives. When I asked someone, "how did you become a Christian?' they would usually give a long and fluent answer, a narrative that had been told with minor or major variations many times before....
I wanted to find a subject for my research that would allow me to study Bhaktapurian social change at its cutting edge; I was also attracted to human stories that reflected dramatic change on a personal level. I had heard that increasing numbers of people were converting to Christianity and being a Christian myself I was naturally interested in this phenomenon. When I began to visit churches, I quickly realised that here was the type of field site I was looking for.
Religion | Buddhism
This book aims at serving academic excellence in the field of Buddhism, particularly with the Chinese connection.
By Jeff Greenwald
Memoirs | Buddhism | Travelogue
"Asia is a mythical jubilee," writes Jeff Greenwald, "full of characters more strange and entertaining than anything you'll find in Star Wars." In this 25th anniversary edition of his beloved book, Greenwald treks to a lofty nunnery to meet "one of the most powerful women in Tibet -- known to fly through the air." He visits Kathmandu's first indoor shopping mall (where a ride on the country's first escalator is a near-religious event), and befriends a sly mystic named Lalji, whose often abrasive teaching methods prod him along the spiritual path.
By I. Allan Sealy
Fiction | Novels
Asadh, June-July. The first drop of the monsoon. Always the same fat sound, warm with shipwrecks, fastings, ululations, granaries. Exhaling Arabian salts, breath of a stranded oyster, a rock orchid opening in Bhutan, mist of a cardamom hill. Tasting of swear, the swear of the finger that carries it to the tongue. Children hold out their tongues, and old men, but always it strikes the chest bone, one sharp rap, then the warm flat trickle, discharged so quickly of freight and obligation. Good heavy drops, half the rice crop's virtue, ecstasy in the lapwing's gullet, fear in the anthill.
By Michael Kobold
In his book, Kobold explains the many setbacks that have delayed the project. Kobold also details his struggle to convince potential sponsors of the benefits of the fire truck expedition, which is expected to draw a worldwide audience of over 50 million (in addition to audiences in Nepal and India).
The book is not just about the lack of fire trucks in Kathmandu Valley. It tells the story of the genesis of the idea to drive fire trucks through Nepal. Initially, Kobold and his friend, the late actor James Gandolfini, were supposed to drive a single fire engine to Kathmandu. After Gandolfini's death and the 2015 earthquakes, the fire engine project turned into a major philanthropic and public awareness campaign for Nepal tourism.
The Fire Truck Expedition consists of international celebrities, diplomats and adventurers who are joining forces to drive ten fire engines across the Himalayas to Kathmandu and donate them to the local fire department. Bollywood stars such as Manisha Koirala, Rajesh Hamal and Sunil Thapa, are joining international actors like actors Malcolm McDowell, Michael Imperioli and Scott Glenn.