Nepal Programs

Nepal Speaker Series

Speaker Series

Spring Quarter 2018:

Manjushree Thapa: “How Not To Narrate A Nation”

Where: Thomson Hall, Room 101

When: Thursday April 19th 2018, 4:30 – 6 PM


Winter Quarter 2018:

Amanda Snellinger, PhD: ‘Scalar Politics: Techniques of Accumulating Political Influence’

Where: Thomson Hall, Room 317 (click for map)
When: Tuesday, February 27, 2018: 4:30pm – 6:00pm

Autumn Quarter 2017:

James Fisher, PhD: ‘Trans-Himalayan Traders Transformed’

Where: Thomson Hall, Room 317 (click for map)
When: Wednesday, December 6, 2017: 6:00pm – 7:30pm

Spring Quarter 2017:

Bhagawan Koirala, MD: ‘Federalism and Nepal’s Health System: Challenges and Opportunities.’

Where: Thomson Hall, Room 101 (click for map)
When: Thursday, May 18, 2017: 5:00pm – 6:30pm

Federalism and Nepal’s Health System - flyer

Dr. Bhagawan Koirala, born in rural Nepal, graduated from Kharkiv National Medical University, Ukraine (1989) and finished his post-graduation from National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases, Dhaka University (1994). He completed cardiac sugery fellowship at Baystate Medical Center, Massachussetts and later at The Hospital for Sick Children/University of Toronto, Canada (2000). He is known for pioneering the Open-Heart Surgery Program in Nepal since 1997. He also led Nepal’s first Heart hospital (Shahid Gangalal National Heart Center) as the Executive Director and so far, has performed or supervised over 10,000 cardiovascular surgeries. Apart from serving as the executive director at the two national heart centers and the Tribhuwan University Teaching Hospital, he has also served as the Executive Vice-Chair of Health Profession Education (HPE) Commission.  As a member of the Policy Advisory Committee in the Ministry of Health, he played instrumental role in including non-communicable diseases in the national health policy agenda. One of his major accomplishments is successfully planning and implementing the free cardiac surgery services in Nepal. For his outstanding work, he was awarded with the highest civilian honor Suprabal Jana Sewasree III (2012) by the Nepal Government. He is currently the Head of the Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery Department at the Institute of Medicine, Tribhuvan University and is co-chair of the National Non-Communicable Diseases, Injury and Poverty Commission.


The recent restructuring of Nepal into federal states poses unique opportunities and challenges in almost every sector including health. Please join us for this insightful lecture from Dr.Koirala who has extensive experience in national health policy making and is currently in the core team to restructure the Nepalese health system.The talk will provide critical analysis on the aspects of decentralization, reframing of health agendas, the issues surrounding task-shifting and allocation of resources.

Jointly hosted by the South Asia CenterDepartment of Global Health and the Global Health Resource Center

Sara Shneiderman, PhD: ‘Restructuring Life: Citizenship, Territory and Religiosity in Nepal’s State of Transformation’
Where: Thomson Hall, Room 101 (click for map)
When: Thursday, April 13, 2017: 4:30pm-6:00pm

Restructuring Life flyer

Sara Shneiderman (PhD, Cornell University, 2009) is Assistant Professor in Anthropology and the Institute of Asian Research at the University of British Columbia. She is the author of Rituals of Ethnicity: Thangmi Identities Between Nepal and India (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2015), along with several articles on the themes of Nepal’s Maoist and indigenous movements; ethnic classification, affirmative action, and the politics of recognition in South Asia; and borders and citizenship in the Himalaya. Her current research explores the politics of reconstruction in Nepal’s post-conflict, post-disaster transformation, focusing on dynamics of citizenship, territory and religiosity, and is funded by the Wenner-Gren Foundation and the Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).


How do we imagine the ideal state that we aspire to live in? In the wake of a decade-long civil conflict between Maoist and state forces, citizens of Nepal had the rare opportunity to do just this through a process of “post-conflict” state restructuring between 2006-2015. I argue that a widespread sense of positive social transformation experienced during this period of political liminality directly affected responses to the crises of 2015: earthquakes and a new, imperfect constitution. Through an ethnographic exploration of the administrative and affective domains of citizenship, territory, and religiosity during Nepal’s ongoing transformation, I revisit anthropological questions about the relationships between imaginaries of structure and order on the one hand, and political aspiration, mobilization, and revolution on the other. This ethnography of restructuring suggests that the emergent state of Nepal is at once a deeply sovereign, and globally produced, form that offers insights into broader debates over the nature of “the political” today.

Mark Turin, PhD: ‘Collaborations in Language: Partnerships, Representations, and Resurgence’
Where: Thomson Hall, Room 101 (click for map)
When: Friday, April 14, 2017: 5:00pm-6:30pm

Collaborations in Language flyer

Mark Turin (PhD, Linguistics, Leiden University, 2006) is an anthropologist, linguist, and radio presenter. At the University of British Columbia, Mark serves as Chair of the First Nations and Endangered Languages Program, Acting Co-Director of the University’s new Institute for Critical Indigenous Studies and Associate Professor of Anthropology. Dr. Turin writes and teaches on ethnolinguistics, language endangerment, visual anthropology, digital archives and fieldwork methodology. He is the author or co-author of four books, three travel guides, the editor of eight volumes, the co-editor of the journal Himalaya and he edits a series on oral literature. Dr. Turin’s recent work has been funded by SSHRC, NSF and NASA, and he serves on the Advisory Board of SAPIENS.


This talk focuses on several key collaborative partnerships in which Dr. Turin has been involved with Heiltsuk community members in Bella Bella, BC, as well as with historically marginalized, Indigenous communities in the Himalayan region.

Through a Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2016, the Heiltsuk Cultural Education Centre, the Bella Bella Community School and the University of British Columbia’s First Nations and Endangered Languages Program are partnering in an effort to collaboratively create new opportunities for speaking, writing and reading the Híɫzaqv (Heiltsuk) language by expanding and deepening existing community language revitalization and cultural documentation in a digital environment. The partnership brings together students, staff and faculty in Vancouver and Bella Bella by providing spaces to productively combine academic and community goals.

Across the globe, elders and youth in Indigenous communities are actively using and appropriating emerging technologies to strengthen their traditions and languages. Indigenous peoples are creators and innovators (not just recipients or clients) of new technologies, particularly in the domain of cultural and linguistic heritage. While technological efforts in the 1970s included specially modified typewriters and custom-made fonts to represent Indigenous writing systems, communities are now making use of digital tools—online, text, Internet radio and mobile devices—to nurture the continued development of their languages and cultures. In this visually engaging lecture, Professor Turin will draw on long-term fieldwork in Nepal and India with speakers of Thangmi—a community whose language has long been effaced from the national record in the states where it is spoken—and his more recent collaborative work with the Heiltsuk First Nation to critically reflect on the ways in which contemporary research partnerships are structured and mediated. His presentation will explore issues of orality and orthography, representation and resurgence. All those interested in learning more about the responsibilities and challenges of long-term community collaboration, co-authorship and advocacy are invited to attend.

Spring Quarter 2016:

Shobha Hamal Gurung, PhD: ‘Nepali Migrant Women: Resistance & Survival in America’
Where: Thomson 101
When: Thursday, May 5, 2016: 5:00pm-6:30pm

Nepali Migrant Women

Ram Shrestha, MD: ‘From Survival to Revival: Redefining the role of a University in Post-Earthquake Nepal. Experience from Kathmandu University’ The Chronic Disaster of Mental Health in Nepal: Strengthening Health Systems Before and After the Earthquake’
Where: Foege Auditorium (GNOM S060)
When: Thursday, April 14, 2016: 5:30pm-6:20pm

From Survival to Revival

Winter Quarter 2016:

Bihav Acharya, MD and Brandon Kohrt, MD, PhD: ‘The Chronic Disaster of Mental Health in Nepal: Strengthening Health Systems Before and After the Earthquake’
Where: Foege Auditorium (GNOM S060)
When: Tuesday, February 9, 2016: 4:30pm-6:20pm

Chronic Disaster flyer

Autumn Quarter 2015:

Robert Desjarlais, PhD: ‘Poeisis in Living and Dying’
Where: Gowen 201
When: Wednesday, October 7, 2015: 3:30pm-5:00pm

Poiesls in Living and Dying flyer

Summer Quarter 2015:

Rajendra Koju, MD: ‘Fighting a War Without Enemies’: Dhulikhel Hospital and the Response to the Earthquakes in Nepal
Where: Allen North Library Auditorium, 181L
When: Thursday, July 2, 2015: 4:00pm-5:00pm
Audio file here:

Fighting a War Without Enemies flyer

Spring Quarter 2015:

Nathalie Williams, PhD: Weather shocks and migration in Chitwan, Nepal: Abandonment or adjustment of rural livelihoods?
Where: Loew 102
When: Thursday, May 28, 2015: 3:30pm-4:20pm

Weather shocks and migration in Chitwan flyer

Arjun Karki, MD: Improving Population Health in Nepal: New Policy Initiatives
Where: Allen North Library Auditorium, 081L
When: Thursday, April 30, 2015: 4:00pm-5:00pm
Presentation link here

Improving Population Health in Nepal flyer

Winter Quarter 2015:

Chandra Jha, PhD: Illicit Drug Use in Nepal
Where: Allen North Library Auditorium, 081L
When: Wednesday, February 25, 2015, 2015: 4:00pm-5:00pm

Illicit Drug Use in Nepal

Autumn Quarter 2014:

Roshan Shrestha, PhD: Mobilizing youth to address to address public health emergencies: Experience from a cholera outbreak in Western Nepal
Where: Thomson 101
When: Friday, October 17, 2015, 2014: 4:30pm-6:00pm

Mobilizing youth to address to address public health emergencies flyer