I am a socio-cultural anthropologist whose research focuses on two areas of inquiry: firstly, the emergence of an ethnic identity among the Tharu of Nepal and its relationship to processes of state formation, and secondly, the relationship between environmentalism and globalization in Sri Lanka. My research in Nepal since 1989 has led to a number of published articles and a book, Many Tongues, One People: The Making of Tharu Identity in Nepal, published by Cornell University Press in 2002. My current work focuses on the study of environmental issues in South Asia. I recently completed the editing of a book on cultural understandings of the environment in the Himalaya, which examines how different cultural groups in the region understand the concept of environment and what practical consequences result from those understandings for bio-physical processes. I am now working on a book project on the development of biodiversity conservation in Sri Lanka from colonial times to the present. I have been teaching at Macalester since 1995. EDUCATION: A.B., Dartmouth College, 1985; M.A., University of Chicago, 1987; Ph.D., University of Chicago, 1994
Pathways to Power: The Domestic Politics of South Asia. (with Anita Weiss) (2014)
Pathways to Power introduces the domestic politics of South Asia in their broadest possible context,...
For the last half-century, scholarship on human-environment relations in the Himalaya has focused on two...
Refereed Journals Edited
"Media Coverage of the Murders of Nepal's Royal Family", Himalayan Research Bulletin (2001)
"The Constitutional Basis of Authoritarianism in Sri Lanka", South Asia Journal (2013)
"From the Editor", Himalaya, the Journal of the Association for Nepal and Himalayan Studies (2010)
"Tharu-State Relations in Nepal and India", Himalaya (2010)
This paper examines the relationship of the Tharu, one of the more numerous of the...
“The Cosmopolitanism of Environmental Activists in Sri Lanka.”, Nature and Culture (2008)
This paper examines the emergence in Sri Lanka of transcultural thinking about environmental issues as...
"Shaping the tourist's gaze: Representing ethnic difference in a Nepali village.", The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute (2001)
A certain practice associated with the tourism industry in Nepal’s Chitwan district — the ‘village...
Book Chapters and Encyclopedia Entries
"Introduction: Situating Domestic Politics in South Asia", Pathways to Power: The Domestic Politics of South Asia (2014)
"From Big Game to Bio-Diversity: Middle-Class Environmental Activists and Wildlife Conservation in Sri Lanka", Varieties of Activist Experience: Civil Society in South Asia (2010)
Other Papers, Articles and Opinion Pieces