Performing Aspirations: Love and Revolution in Nepali Progressive Song
In this ongoing book project, I look at how people understand forms of communism as domains of opportunity, and as frameworks for cultivating personhood, linked to particularly Nepali understandings of modernity. I ask: How has communism provided a framework to articulate hope and aspirations in Nepal? I focus on communist cultural groups and their histories from the 1960s to the present, tracing their relations with global modernization discourses of development in the public sphere, and love in the private sphere. This research has been supported by the University of Hawaii Research Council and the Association for Nepal and Himalayan Studies in 2012, a Fulbright Scholar Award in 2018-2019, and a CAORC NEH Senior Fellowship in 2019.
Music, Dance and Cultural Revolution Beyond China’s Borders
This collaborative project with Tasaw Hsin-Chun Lu, Tsan-Huang Tsai, and Nomi Dave explored the influence of China’s revolutionary aesthetics on revolutionary and reactionary performance in Asia and Africa. Looking at revolutionary performance in Burma, Nepal, and Guinea, as well as Taiwan’s Cultural Renaissance, we trace the connections between politics and aesthetics as these different cultures drew on similar forms of Chinese music, dance, and ideology, in creating their own particular styles of propaganda performance. This three-year study continued from 2014-2017, funded by the Chiang Ching-Kuo Foundation.
The People’s Songs Nepal project showcases material of historical interest related to Nepali progressive and revolutionary performance, including artists from all left parties, unaffiliated groups, and some others of note. Songs, instrumental music, dance, sung dramas (operas), and writings about all of these are the project’s main focus. This is an evolving showcase and is not meant to support any political party or promote any artist commercially; all content is more than 5 years old at the time of posting.