Social Science Baha


Call for Papers | Celebrating the Work of Professor Michael J. Hutt

Pre-conference Symposium, 25 July 2023

Michael J. Hutt, Professor of Nepali and Himalayan Studies, at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, whose teaching and research career in the field of Nepal and Himalayan Studies spans over 30 years, took early retirement in late 2021. To mark his retirement and to celebrate his critical role in advancing ‘Nepal and Himalayan Studies’ we invite contributions engaging with his wide-ranging scholarship.

Hutt is both an esteemed translator and renowned scholar of South Asian languages and cultures who describes Nepali literature as his ‘home ground’. From the popular Teach Yourself Nepali to his more recent collaborations with Dalit writers, he has consistently worked to make Nepali language and writing accessible to wider audiences.

Yet, Hutt’s contribution to regional studies extends well beyond the literary sphere. He was one of the first scholars to publish on the Bhutanese refugee crisis, establishing himself as an authority on the socio-political origins and impacts of the issue. He published extensively on Nepali politics before, during and following the Maoist conflict and has also engaged with the Nepali diaspora in India, Nepal Earthquake, the Nepali media, and Nepali art and architecture.

Beyond his immeasurable contribution to regional studies, Hutt has worked in collaboration with other scholars and trained graduate students working across a range of disciplines and thematic areas. His students have used a rich, contextualised engagement with South Asian languages and cultures to advance knowledge in law, public health, social anthropology, political science, and beyond. Accordingly, we welcome papers from a range of disciplines provided they draw on work engaging with Nepali or other South Asian language sources.

Interested participants are invited to submit an abstract not exceeding 500 words (along with five keywords) outlining how their contribution speaks to, draws on, or engages with Michael Hutt’s work. The submissions can be in either English or Nepali and should be addressed to Deadline: 30 April 2023.

This symposium will be held a day before the Annual Kathmandu Conference on Nepal and the Himalaya, 26-28 July 2023. The format will be a hybrid one, allowing contributors who cannot make it to Kathmandu to join online as well.

We seek to bring together Michael Hutt’s friends, peers, co-authors, collaborators, students, and mentees for a day of insightful talks and reflections.

Papers presented at this symposium (and another symposium celebrating Michael Hutt’s work at Britain Nepal Academic Council’s Nepal Study Day in April 2023), will be selected to produce an open-access edited volume that builds on the framework of a course that Michael Hutt designed and taught at SOAS: Culture and Conflict in the Himalayas.


In person: Jeevan Sharma (University of Edinburgh) and Stefanie Lotter (SOAS, University of London)
Virtually: Liana Chase (Durham University) and Mark Turin (University of British Columbia)

The symposium is being hosted by Social Science Baha under the aegis of its Nanda R. and Pamela L. Shrestha Fund for Honouring Nepal Scholars.

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