Bihari Krishna Fellowship for Bihari Krishna Fellowship for Ethnographic Research

The Bihari Krishna Fellowship for Ethnographic Research was established in 2011 with a grant of Rs 5 million, provided by Bihari Krishna Shrestha to Social Science Baha, with the express purpose of setting up a fellowship devoted to ethnographic research. This fund is placed within the Baha Social Science Research Fund. The fellowship is awarded to one person per fellowship cycle.

The fellows are chosen after an extensive selection process which consists of the public announcement, multiple rounds of interviews, and proposal review by the selection committee. The selected fellows are based at Nepā School of Social Sciences and Humanities during the course of the fellowship. Each fellowship is carried out over the course of 18 months, which includes pre-field visit preparation, fieldwork, analysis and writing, presentation of findings, and manuscript drafting for publication. The fellowship has a mentorship component, whereby the selected fellows work under the supervision of a senior scholar from their respective field.

1.     The 2013 Bihari Krishna Fellowship has been granted to Santabir Rai, who will work under Prof. Ram Bahadur Chhetri of the Central Department of Sociology/Anthropology on the topic ‘Have Lhomi (Singsawa) Changed Their Values and Norms Pertaining to Natural Resources Management (A Study of Unheard Mountain People in the East Nepal)’ starting mid-May. The proposed research, which will focus on indigenous resources management, will explore the new forms of governance introduced in the mountain area of Nepal, where there are already indigenous governance systems, and will look into how such new governances as external interventions lead to social and cultural changes. More specifically, the research will find out whether and how new forms of governance lead to changes in people’s norms and values pertaining to natural resources (particularly, forest and pastureland in Bhotkhola region), and will also explain the social values and norms of Lhomi (Singsawa) vis-à-vis the forest and pastureland.

2.     The 2011 Fellowship was awarded to Shreshna Basnet. She worked under Dr.  Rajendra Pradhan, Dean of the Nepā School of Social Sciences and Humanities, on the topic ‘Ramcharitmanas: An Ethnography of a Construction of a Good Society through Literary Works’. This research explored how repeated narration or enactment of literary works gets translated into one’s life where everything one does is ‘good’. More specifically, it explored the idea of good, and not what good is, by investigating how the idea of a good society is constructed in literary works, inculcated into the minds of individuals, and expressed in their thoughts and behaviors.