The Toni Hagen Fellowship in the Social Sciences

Under this programme funded by the Toni Hagen Foundation, the Baha provides the opportunity to promising young researchers to work with a senior scholar for a whole year. The fellowship is awarded to one person annually and lasts for one year, inclusive of three months of fieldwork, if required. The Toni Hagen Foundation provides the funding for the fellowship and the Baha makes the arrangements to team up the fellow with a senior scholar apart from providing a work station at the Baha.

1.     The 2010 Toni Hagen Fellowship has been awarded to Monika Timsina. She has been working with Hari Sharma to study the transformation of Nepali nationalism. Hari and Monika have been tracing how people have ‘imagined’ themselves over the course of civilisation and especially since the end of the colonial era, which was in part precipitated by a rising sense of ‘communities’, to the present Nepal where nationalism has undergone various transformation with different political regimes to ethnically conscious, conventional attitudes and people’s expectation of ‘new Nepal’.

2.    In 2009, the Toni Hagen Fellowship was awarded to Khem Raj Shreesh to work with Sudhindra Sharma of the Social Science Baha to examine Nepal’s fragile post-conflict transition and the role of donors in that transition. Sudhindra worked with Khem in reviewing the global literature on conflict and its relationship with poverty and its role in explaining Nepal’s conflict and possible post-conflict scenarios in view of the stagnating economy despite rise in remittances which has improved the living standards of the people but which also shows the vulnerability of the people and society to political instability and further potential for violence.

3.    In 2008, the Toni Hagen Fellowship was awarded to Amar Bahadur BK to team up with Rajendra Pradhan of the Social Science Baha. Amar worked with Rajendra on the topic ‘The Making and Unmaking of Dalit Identity in Nepal’. He looked at how Dalit identity has been formed, transformed, and understood in Nepal. His argument was that despite the efforts of Dalit leaders to form a unified and positive Dalit identity, its understanding is multiple, situational, and dynamic, depending on caste, class, gender, age, region, situation, etc, and also that ordinary Dalits continue to suffer from the burden of this identity.