Panel Collaborations

The new deadline for submissions is September 21, 2015

Organizers of these panels are looking for collaborators. If you are interested in a panel, please contact its organizer(s) directly.

Himalayan Language Rights, Policies and Practices

Organizers: Kristine Hildebrandt (Southern Illinois University), Mark Turin (University of British Columbia) & Miranda Weinberg (University of Pennsylvania).

The papers in this panel explore language rights, policies and practices across the greater Himalayan region ranging from Afghanistan to Burma, but centered around Bhutan, northern India, Nepal and cultural Tibet. Some submissions will address the relationship between multilingualism, linguistic competence and spatial organization.

The organizers of this panel are particularly interested in receiving submissions that are at once grounded in local, linguistic contexts and that articulate with wider national, regional or international trends in the study of language. The panel organizers welcome expressions of interest from scholars and community members involved in the complex web of activities that include language activism, documentation, revitalization, mother tongue education programming and language policy and planning.

Email: mark.turin <at>

People and Environment in the Greater Himalaya

Organizers: Teri Allendorf, John Metz, and Mary Cameron

We invite papers on human-environment relationships across the Himalaya. We define this topic very broadly to include natural resources, protected areas, biodiversity, environmental policy, pollution, wildlife, indigenous knowledge and systems, population-environment, etc. One of the intentions for this call is to help create and promote a group of scholars focused on the environment while building on the strengths of an area studies context that this conference provides.

This year, the conference will accept single and double panels, so we can propose either depending on how many responses we get. One of the benefits of organizing is that it means the environment-related talks will be back to back and less likely to overlap. It is always a bummer when you can’t attend all the talks you are interested in. Also, if you have already submitted a paper as an individual but would like to join us, let me know.

We don’t need formal abstracts from each individual until our panel has been accepted. But please email Teri Allendorf (allendorf <at> if you are interested with a tentative title by Friday, August 28, so we can prepare a proposal for the deadline on Monday. We also will need your name and affiliation.

Secularism in the Himalaya: Its Content and Consequences

Organizers: Dannah Dennis (University of Virginia) and Luke Wagner (Yale University)

In recent years, secularism has been one of the most dynamic fault-lines in the political and social landscape of the Himalayas. In this panel, we are putting together a cross-disciplinary selection of papers to probe the various meanings that have been appended to the term “secularism” and to consider the effects of these ideas about secularism in social and political life. While the majority of the papers focus on recent developments in Nepal, we welcome submissions from across the region.

If you are interested in participating in the panel, please send us your proposed title and an abstract of no more than 300 words by September 15.

Email: dannahdennis <at> and luke.e.wagner <at>

Exile Tibetan Communities: Resistance, Sustenance, and Continuity

Organizers: Carole McGranahan (University of Colorado Boulder) and Dawa Lokyitsang (University of Colorado Boulder)

56 years. Tibetans in exile have been refugees for fifty-six years, ever since the Dalai Lama and thousands of Tibetans fled Chinese occupation by escaping into India in 1959. Over five decades later, Tibetans continue to escape from China to a new life in exile, and thus the exile community is constantly growing and in motion. In addition, the Tibetan exile community is truly global—from South Asia to East Asia, Europe to Australia, and throughout the Americas. Now spread around the world, the Tibetan refugee community is one of the world’s oldest, and also (ironically) one of the world’s most successful refugee communities. Key themes across the duration of exile have been resistance, sustenance, and continuity. However, Tibetan histories of survival and substance as a refugee community involve both well-known and sometimes overlooked struggles. Over the decades, different waves of refugees have faced different difficulties in both making the journey to exile and in establishing themselves once there. Communities far from Dharamsala have their own stories to tell. Refugees in Nepal currently have very different relations with their host country than do those in India or Switzerland or Canada. Struggles of Tibetans inside Tibet also reshape and energize the exile community in key ways. In this panel, we invite scholars of the Tibetan exile community to present research addressing any and all aspects of life in the community. In this current global moment of refugee crisis, one of our goals is to foster an interdisciplinary conversation about the Tibetan exile diaspora that might help us both contextualize specific refugee experiences as well as make connections across them.

If you would like to join this panel, please send us your paper title and a 200-word abstract by September 10.

Carole McGranahan: carole<at>

Dawa Lokyitsang: dezzyl18<at>

Marginalized groups and the New Constitution of Nepal

Organizer: Mahendra Lawoti, Professor, Western Michigan University

National Constitutions, the basic laws of the land, depending on whether they include or exclude different segments of the polity through the institutions they adopt, laws and policies they facilitate to formulate, and norms they help to establish, can contribute toward peace/conflict, stability/instability and prosperity/poverty (Elkins, Ginsburg, and Melton 2009; Lutz 2006; Acemoglu and Robinson 2012). At the time the new constitution of Nepal was being promulgated by the Constituent Assembly with a super majority in September 2015, a decade after the end of civil war, organizations of various marginalized groups (Dalit, indigenous, Madhesi, women), who collectively form more than two thirds of the population, were engaged in month/s long peaceful and not-so-peaceful socio-political movements demanding inclusion in the New Constitution. The organizations have gone on to declare the promulgation date as the Black Day. In this context, the papers in the panel/s will analyze the new Constitution to see, among other things, which demands of the marginalized groups were included and which were not, why some of the major demands were not included despite months’ long movements that resulted in around four dozen deaths, numerous injuries, and destruction of private and public properties, why the movements failed to pressure the ruling parties to incorporate their demands, and whether the articles of the new Constitution will contribute in fostering equality/inequality and justice/injustice among the traditionally marginalized groups? We have four proposals that will look at the cases of Dalit, indigenous, and Madhesi groups, and examine the federal model. We are seeking additional proposals, especially on women, to organize two or more panels. There is a likelihood that the papers will be published as an edited volume. If you would like to join the panel/s, please send us your paper title and a 200-word abstract by as soon as possible to Dr Lawoti.