UCLA, Anthropology, B.A 2007, Summa Cum Laude
Burden: Negotiating Ethnicity, Identity, and Power among the
Tamangs and Sherpas of Nepal"
My research is motivated
by my interests in globalization, modernity, ethnicity, late-capitalism,
adventure, and high-mountain regions. I am exploring issues
of identity and power among Sherpas and Tamangs in the context
of Himalayan mountaineering in Nepal. I am also very
interested in how societies and cultures interact through
time, and how individuals negotiate issues of power in different
During the summer of 2006,
I spent ten weeks in Kathmandu, Nepal conducting preliminary
research for my thesis. I worked with various Sherpa and Tamang
people involved in the global mountaineering and trekking
industry to explore how individuals construct ethnic identity
and negotiate power in local and global contexts. This research
was conducted with the advice and guidance of Professors Sherry
Ortner and Nancy
Levine. An abstract of the manuscript can be viewed here.
Please contact me via email if you would like to read the
Through Fall 2007, I participated
in a research project with Megan
Mulet on the "gift economy" at the Burning Man
festival. Under her auspices, we explored how "virgins"
- individuals participating for their first time at Burning
Man - experienced "transformations" at the festival.
Why do some individuals describe their experiences as "life
changing?" Why are some more transformed (or willing
to be transformed) than others, and what is the extent of
Other Academic Interests:
Besides my anthropological
pursuits, I am also an avid student of philosophy. More
specifically, I am attracted to exploring questions in the
philosophy of science and epistemology: What is knowledge?
How are scientific theories generated? What are appropriate
models for explaining complex human social behavior and experiences
such as "power," "identity," "domination,"
And finally, when not in
the ever-critical throes of strict academia, I cannot help
but be enthralled with the vast lands that lies beyond the
ocean of science: art, literature, poetry, music, photography,
and other stranger landscapes of the mind.