I’m thrilled that I’ve been awarded two fellowships, a Fulbright Scholar Award and the CAORC NEH Senior Fellowship, to work on my new book project, on Nepali progressive song. 2018-2019 will be a sabbatical year of research and writing in Nepal. I’m looking forward to seeing old friends and new, and working on this project (more info under Research and People’s Songs Nepal)
Performing Aspirations: Love and Revolution in Nepali Progressive Song
This research project is an ethnography and cultural history of love and utopian ideals in the “progressive song” movement of Nepal’s political left (1960–present). Its theoretical emphasis is on the identifications and tensions between private and public, intimate and political, contending that performance mediates these relationships in unique ways. I examine how Nepali communist artists, associated with varied political parties and perspectives with different strands of global connections, use song and dance to express ideals and shape their social worlds anew. I center my analysis on the role performance plays in creating the intersubjective spaces for such work, asking how different strands of Nepali leftist thought shape ways of imagining a transformative politics at the level of intimate interactions.
(image: members of Khusiram Pakhrin’s group Chitwan Cultural Family with women of Rolpa, 1992).