Low Altitude Himalayan Research
Low altitude landscapes run through the Himalaya, meandering along rivers and emptying out into the Gangetic Plain. They are conduits and passages connecting people, animals, plants, ideas, and imaginations over the Subcontinent and Tibetan Plateau. Most of my research has taken place in the lowlands and pocket valleys of the Nepal Himalaya where I explore the intersections of environment, politics, and society.
Migration across the Hills and Plains has been a feature throughout the Himalaya's human history. I have an enduring interest in migration stories and the relationships between people, place, and environment that are created on the move. I am presently completing two article length manuscripts about mobility and environment in Farwestern Nepal. One focuses on the malarial landscape of Kailali and patterns of mobility in place before eradication in the 1960s. The other focuses on micro-movements of women in relation to seasonal ecologies of grass and fodder species.
Lower altitude areas are associated with an ease of life in comparison to the hills. Flat topography, access to roads, services, and schools, availability of water for drinking and irrigation, and ability to grow rice and vegetable crops are amongst the many reasons cited for why the lowlands are a comfortable place to live. I am interested in how the accoutrements of life in the lowlands signals modernity in the Himalaya region and what effects lowland sociality and politics play in the production of Himalayan futures.