University of Washington

ILTIS, Linda

Undergraduate Adviser for International Studies, Asian Studies, Latin American Studies, Jewish Studies, & Canadian Studies

Office: Thomson Hall 111, JSIS Box 353650, Seattle, WA 98195
Phone: (206) 543-6001


    Appointed: 1989.


      Ph.D. 1985, University of Wisconsin-Madison, South Asian Civilization & Culture.

      Dissertation:† The Swasthani Vrata:† Newar Women and Ritual in Nepal.

      M.A. 1978, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Cultural Anthropology.

      B.A. 1976, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Anthropology.


    Teaching/Field Experience/Research/Awards:

      1992 Women healers, power and religion in Nepal - (Kathmandu Valley, Nepal) Anthropological/textual research on women's participation and ritual representations of female power, ongoing since 1981.

      1991-1993† Editor, Himalayan Research Bulletin.

      1987-88 National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship - (Kathmandu Valley, Nepal) Roles and Meaning in the Classical Dance Dramas of Nepal, representations of self, power, and community in contemporary† Hindu and Buddhist ritual dramas.† Video documentation and video-based research methodology.

      1986† ACLS & SSRC Travel Award.

      1982-83† Assistant for NEH† Buddhist Music research project - Prof. Ter Ellingson Ethnomusicology, University of Washington.† Buddhist vocal & instrumental ensembles, Newar, Tibetan, Sinhala, and Japanese local ritual music and dance traditions, exorcism ceremonies and festivals (Nepal, India, Sri Lanka, Japan).

      1981-83 Fulbright Doctoral Dissertation Fellow to Nepal† (Kathmandu Valley, Nepal) Women and ritual in Nepal: the Swasthani Vrata, anthropological and textual study of women's roles in ritual and literary contexts.

      1979 Nepalese women and identity in North America,† Preliminary study and documentation of Hindu vrata ritual observances by† Nepalese living abroad in the United States. (Madison, Wisconsin)

      1975-76 Ethnohistorical study of change and continuity in a Newar community trading center affected by road building in the central hills of Nepal. Univ. of Wisconsin - Independent Research - J. T. Hitchcock, adviser. (Bandipur, Nepal)

      1975-76 Food beliefs and gender symbolism in cooking technologies of Nepal; and Performing arts in Nepal† (Wisconsin College Year in Nepal Program).

    Recent Publications:

    In Progress The Goddess of Self and the Power of Place. [book: completion expected 2004]

    2002 "The Nine Witch Sisters: Gender and Identity in a Shaman‚s Song from Nepal," in Himalayan Research Bulletin, Volume XXII Number 1-2, pp.27-39.

    2002 "Goddesses, Place and Identity in Nepal," in South Asian Folklore: An Encyclopedia, New York: Routledge, pp.257-260. Available online

    2002 "Knowing all the gods: grandmothers, god families, and women healers in Nepal," in G. Samuel & Santi Rozario, Eds., Daughters of Hariti: Childbirth and female healers in South and Southeast Asia, New York: Routledge, pp. 70-89.

    2000 Introduction to World Religions: Eastern Traditions. Seattle: University of Washington Extension. (Introduction available online)

    1996 "Women, Pilgrimage, Power, and the Concept of Place in Swasthani Vrata," in S. Lienhard, ed., Change and Continuity: Studies in the Nepalese Culture of the Kathmandu Valley. Orientalia: Collana di Studi Orientali del CESMEO Vol. 7, Torino: Editioni Dell‚Orso, pp. 303-320.

    1994 "Women, Goddesses, and Newar Representations of Geopolitical Space," Anthropology of Nepal: People, Problems and Processes, Michael Allen, ed., Kathmandu: Mandala Book Point, pp. 349-57.

    1990 "The Jala Pyakhan in Historical and Cultural Perspective," Nepalbhay wa thwaya Sahitya Vibhagiya Gosthi (Proceedings of the first Tribhuvan University Seminar on Newari Language and Literature, held, May 30 - June 1, 1988), pp.141-168. (on roles and meaning in a Newar ritual drama)

    1989 Review of The Gopalarajavamsavali, Dhanavajra Vajracarya and Kamal P. Malla (eds.), Acta Orientalia. (review of a Nepalese historical chronicle)

    1988 "Introduction" in Ilhane Samyak Mahotsava, The Samayak Festival of Patan. by Daya Ratna Shakya, Patan: Hirakaji Sujikar.

    1987 Review of Class and Gender in India, by Patricia Caplan, Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, Vol. 16, No. 2, pp. 227-232.

    1987 "The Jala Pyakha": A Classical Newar Dance Drama of Harisiddhi." In Heritage of the Kathmandu Valley: Proceedings of an International Conference in Lübeck, June 1985, edited by Niels Gutschow and Axel Michaels, NEPALICA, 4/11, Sankt Augustin: VGH Wissenschaftsverlag, pp. 199-213. (on roles and meaning in a Newar ritual drama)

    1985 The Swasthani Vrata: Newar Women and Ritual in Nepal, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Wisconsin.

    1983 "Women and Ritual in Nepal: The Swasthani Vrata," Himalayan Research Bulletin, Vol. III, no. 3, Fall 1983, pp. 8-12.

    1982 "Introduction" to Items of our Food Culture, Ratna Kajee Vajracharya, Kathamandu: Nepala Vaidya Prakasan. (on ritual food symbolism)

    1980 "An Ethnohistorical Study of Bandipur, Nepal," Contributions to Nepalese Studies, Vol. 8, no. 1, pp. 81-146. (comparison of post-colonial narratives with pre-colonial British accounts)