Social Science Baha

21 July: Mixed Panels

21 July: Mixed Panels

For the fourth day of the conference, 21 July, 2012, proposals were initially invited either as stand-alone papers or as panels. The papers/panels were selected by an international committee representing the Association for Nepal and Himalayan Studies (ANHS), the Britain-Nepal Academic Council (BNAC) and the Social Science Baha.

The sessions will be held at Hotel Shanker, Lazimpat. Two parallel panel sessions will run concurrently. Registration for Panel A1 and Panel B2 has been closed.  Seating is limited and requires pre-registration and payment of an attendance fee. Registration has been closed.


9 – 10:45 AM
Chair: Rajendra Pradhan, Nepa School of Social Sciences and Humanities
Discussant: Mara Malagodi, School of Oriental and African Studies
S.N. Presenter Paper Title Abstract
1. Mahendra Lawoti
Professor of Political Science, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA
Neither Exclusionary Nor Inclusive: Political Elite’s Attitudes and Behaviour in Democratising Multi-ethnic Nepal, 1990-2002 Read abstract
2. Jacob Rinck
Prospective Graduate Student, Department of Anthropology, Yale University, Connecticut, USA
Remittances, Stability and Stagnation in Nepal Read abstract
3. James Sharrock
Research Officer, The Carter Center, Kathmandu, Nepal
Stability in Transition in Eastern Nepal Read abstract
TEA: 10:45 – 11:15 AM
11:15 AM – 1 PM

Chair and Discussant: Pratyoush Onta, Martin ChautariAlthough research on the history of Nepali print media has been going on for a while, most of it has been confined to documenting the history of literatures in Nepal’s various languages and the history of literature-oriented publications/magazines. However, in the recent past, some researchers have been studying the historical corpus of Nepali print media with research questions that open up new domains of knowledge. This panel will showcase the analyses and provisional conclusions of three recent and ongoing such research on Nepali print media history. The first paper will discuss aspects of the history of Nepali language magazines during the first six decades of the 20th century and analyse their role in consolidating Nepali language based Nepali nationalism and identity. The second paper will analyse the corpus of cases brought against various newspapers by (mostly) the Kathmandu Magistrate Office during the 1950s to demonstrate the contours of the efforts at regulating contents of the newspapers that were published during that decade. Among other things, these two papers advance our understanding of the world of Nepali print media published through the 1950s. The third paper analyses the coverage of the Janajati/language-rights andolan in the Nepal Bhasa weekly newspaper Inap during the 1980s. This paper advances our understanding of the ‘pre-history’ of the post-1990 Janajati andolan and deepens our knowledge of the history of Nepal Bhasa newspaper contents as well as opposition to the Panchayati state. Together, these three papers contribute to a broader social history of 20th century Nepal.
S.N. Presenters Paper Titles Abstracts
1. Ananta Koirala, Deepak Aryal, and Shamik Mishra
Madan Puraskar Pustakalaya
The Historical Development of Nepali Magazines, 1899-1960 Read abstract
2. Lokranjan Parajuli (alias Ramesh Parajuli)
Martin Chautari
‘Objectionable Contents’: The Policing of Nepali Print Media during the 1950s Read abstract
3. Harshaman Maharjan
Martin Chautari
‘We the Janajatis’: Activism of Inap Weekly for Newars and other Janajatis during the Decade of the ‘Reformed Panchayat’, 1982-1990 Read abstract
LUNCH: 1 – 2 PM
2 – 3:45 PM
Chair: Mark Turin, Yale University & University of Cambridge
Discussant: Dambar Chemjong, Tribhuvan University
Focusing on the Rai communities in Eastern Nepal, this panel examines the link between ethnic identity and ritual performance from various angels. In the last two decades ethnic identity has become a major topic of discussion in Nepal, and ritual performances and religious affiliations constitute one of the main elements in defining ethnic boarder lines. In the process of identity building the Kirat, and especially the Rai, figure among those ethnic groups of Nepal, which through active promotion of ritual and dance largely succeeded in shaping the definition of what Kirat identity means, to the in-group and to the out-group likewise. But apart from this comprehensive, macrocosmic type of identity, many local, meso- and microcosmic identities are constantly negotiated, embodied, and installed in the Rai communities, rooted in the context of local ritual performances. The presenters of this panel examine three different aspects and levels of the topic: The macrocosmic perspective is looked at by focusing on the Sakela dance which has been strongly promoted by Kirat cultural organisations as an expression of “Rainess” (Marion Wettstein), the mesocosmic perspective examines the ritual landscape that is encompassed by shamanic recitations to define a ritual geographical territory (Alban von Stockhausen), and the microcosmic perspective focuses on a funerary architectural structure, the chautaara resting platform, which integrates the individual into the genealogical line of ancestors (Claire Femenias). Dance performance as bodily expression of identity, mental mapping as topographical expression of identity, and architectural construction as monumental expression of identity, are all rooted in local ritual performances furnishing them with validity and credibility.
S.N. Presenters Paper Titles Abstracts
1. Alban von Stockhausen
University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria
Walking with the Ancestors: Ritual Speech and Sacred Landscapes among the Rai of Eastern Nepal Read abstract
2. Marion Wettstein
University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria
Dancing Who We Are: The Embodiment of Rai Ethnic Identity in Sakela Performance Read abstract
3. Clarita Femenias
Université de Lille
A Meeting Space for the Living and the Ancestors: The Resting Platforms Chautaara among the Bahing Rai of Eastern Nepal  Read abstract
TEA: 3:45 – 4:15 PM
4:15 – 6:15 PM
Chair: Prista Ratanapruck
Discussant: Susan Hangen, Ramapo College
S.N. Presenters Paper Titles Abstracts
1. Katsuo Nawa
Associate Professor of Cultural Anthropology, Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan
Between Gathering and Politics: Diversity and Change of Oratorical Discourse in Byans, Far Western Nepal Read abstract
2. Shrochis Karki
PhD Candidate at Oxford University, UK
Education as a Poisoned Chalice: The Chepang Experience Read abstract
3. Dinesh Kafle
Research Scholar, Centre for English Studies, School of Language, Literature and Culture Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India
Blood into Ink: Literary Representation of the Maoist Insurgency Read abstract
4. Kyle Knight
Fulbright Research Fellow
In the Name of Identity and Protection: Nepal as a Leader in Third Gender Human Rights Read abstract


9:00 – 10:45 AM

Chair: Mohan Manandhar, Niti Foundation
Discussant: Sagar Prasai, The Asia Foundation
Research and engagement related to public policies in Nepal over the past several years can be summarised as the following: a) thinking about policy change occurs largely within the vacuum of governmental resolve to articulate overarching goals for change; b) the content of policy change is primarily aligned along the template promoted by international agencies; c) State-funded Policy Research Organisations (PROs) have weakened or vanished over the past two decades, and non-governmental entities have very little capacity and incentive to work beyond the horizons of individual projects; and d) knowledge relevant to policy problems is circulated as monologues and propaganda, rather than nurturing due dialogue, cross-learning and openness for ‘falsification’. Accordingly, Nepal confronts the challenge of making informed choices in regard to both larger policy questions and sector specific issues. An examination of some recent experiences and discussion amongst participants will help shed light on future opportunities and challenges after federal structuring of Nepal. This Panel will be a two-hour panel, involving three paper presentations and an open discussion among panellists and participants.
S.N. Presenters Paper Titles Abstracts
1. Sharad Ghimire
Department of Conflict, Peace and Development Studies, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal
Climate Justice: Bottlenecks and Opportunities for Policy-making in Nepal Read abstract
2. Hari Dhungana
Executive Director, Southasia Institute of Advanced Studies (SIAS), Kathmandu, Nepal

Gunjan Dhakal

Research Fellow, Southasia Institute of Advanced Studies (SIAS), Kathmandu, Nepal
Tragedy of Consensus: Crisis in Local Democracy and Options for Improved Local Governance and Service Delivery Read abstract
3. Saumitra Neupane
Research Intern, Niti Foundation, Nepal
Non-electoral Representation in Policy Process Read abstract
TEA: 10:45 – 11:15 AM
PANELS B2, B3 and B4: Bio-cultural/Eco-social Sustainability in the Himalayas: Critical and Practical Views across Disciplines and Regions
Mary Cameron, Department of Anthropology, Florida Atlantic University;  Tuladhar-Douglas, Research Scholar, ICIMOD & University of Aberdeen; and Ripu Kunwar, Ethnobotanical Society of Nepal.Papers in this series of three panels seek to address local and practical approaches to human-nature relationships that build on critical analysis of development in the Himalayan region. These academic papers will speak to critical perspectives on social and biological/ecological/natural dimensions of human-nature relationships. The broad interdisciplinary conversation sought in these presentations will invite scholars, activists, and policy personnel in the social sciences (anthropology, political science, sociology, economics), health and health care, environmental conservation, development (health care, conservation), and others.
11:15 AM – 1 PM
Chair: Mary M Cameron, Florida Atlantic University
Open discussion
S.N. Presenters Paper Titles Abstracts
1. Hemant R Ojha, Naya S Paudel, Sudeep Jana, Mani R Banjade, and Dil B Khatri
Forest Action, Kathmandu, Nepal
Transforming Policy Process through Critical Action Research: Reflections from Nepal’s Forest Governance Read abstract
2. Bhishma P Subedi
Asia Network for Sustainable Agriculture and Bioresources, Kathmandu, Nepal
Synergy between Conservation and Development: Experience on Community Forestry and Value Chain Approach Read abstract
3. Suman Dhakal, Ripu M Kunwar, Ram P Acharya
Practical Solution, Kathmandu, NepalBijendra Basnyat
Western Terai Landscape Complex Project, Babarmahal, Kathmandu, Nepal
Biodiversity-Livelihood Conflict: A Case from Western Terai, Nepal


Read abstract
LUNCH: 1 – 2 PM
2 – 3:45 PM
Chair: Ripu M Kunwar, Ethnobotanical Society of Nepal
Open discussion 
S.N. Presenters Paper Titles Abstracts
1. Mary M Cameron
Professor of Anthropology, Florida Atlantic University
Trading Health: Medicine, Biodiversity, Natures, and the Poor in Nepal Read abstract
2. Steve Adkins
The University of Queensland (UQ), Brisbane, AustraliaSangita Shrestha
Nepal Academy of Science and Technology (NAST), Lalitpur, Nepal
Seeds for Health: An International Collaboration for the Collection, Conservation, Characterization, and Sustainable Utilization of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants of Nepal  Read abstract
3. Bharat B Shrestha
Central Department of Botany, Tribhuvan University, Kirtipur, Kathmandu, Nepal
Forest, Fire and Farming: Some Observations in Guthichaur Area of Jumla District, North-western Nepal Read abstract
4. Dipesh Pyakurel and Bhesh Raj Oli
Biodiversity Associates for Research, Development, and Action – Nepal (BARDAN)
Public–private Partnerships in Resource Commercialization Focused to NTFPs Read abstract
TEA: 3:45 – 4:15 PM
4:15 – 6:15 PM
Chair: Sangita Shrestha, Nepal Academy of Science and Technology
Open discussion
S.N. Presenters Paper Titles Abstracts
1. Ila Shrestha
Associate Professor, Patan Multiple Campus, Tribhuvan University, Lalitpur, Nepal
Ethno-Medico-Botanical Studies of Leguminosae in Langtang National Park, Central Nepal  Read abstract
2. Mohan Prasad Devkota
Botany Department, Amrit Campus, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal
Traditional Knowledge and Uses of Mistletoes by Indigenous Communities of Nepal Himalayas  Read abstract
3. Ripu M Kunwar
Ethnobotanical Society of Nepal, Kathmandu, Nepal

Laxmi Mahat
Department of Sociology/Anthropology, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, NepalKeshab P Shrestha
Natural History Museum, Tribhuvan University, Swayambhu, Kathmandu, Nepal      
Underutilized Plant Species in Far-West Nepal: A Potential Resource for Primary Health Care Read abstract
4. Rajendra Gyawali
Department of Pharmacy, Kathmandu University, Dhulikhel, Nepal
Himalayan Plants as a Source of Crude Drugs Read abstract