Rethinking Resilience, Forging Futures: A Student-Focused Research Symposium on Contemporary Issues in Nepal

Jointly hosted by:

UW JSIS-NSI logo_header-white 

The University of Washington Nepal Studies Initiative and the Association of Nepal and Himalayan Studies are pleased to announce the first jointly sponsored Student-Focused Research Symposium on Contemporary Issues in Nepal, to be held at Yalamaya Kendra in Patan, Kathmandu on September 12 – 13, 2016.

The symposium is jointly funded by a Global Innovation Fund award from the University of Washington Office of Global Affairs, ANHS, and UW-NSI.

The Student-Focused Research Symposium seeks to bring together a consortium of universities and institutions to promote academic engagements for emerging scholars of Nepal and the Himalayan region to present on current research. There are several annual conferences, panels, and speaking events in Nepal each year for faculty and advanced scholars, but there are few opportunities for students to showcase their work, gain experience engaging critically with their peers, and feature their own voice as emergent scholars of Nepal and South Asia.


Photo: Ashish Acharya

Symposium Theme

This year the theme of the conference will be “Rethinking Resilience, Forging Futures.” From discussions of civil war and post-conflict Naya Nepal beginning nearly a decade ago, to contemporary debates about constitutional federalism and building back better following the devastating 2015 earthquakes, the idea of resilience has dominated discussions about Nepal. The symposium brings together students to critically examine assumptions and possibilities inherent in notions of resiliency in Nepal’s historical context.



Keynote SpeakerScreen Shot 2016-08-02 at 6.17.45 PM

We’re honored to have Dr. Krishna Bhattachan deliver the symposium’s Keynote Lecture on September 12, 2016. Dr. Bhattachan is one of the leading sociologists and indigenous activists in Nepal. He begun his teaching career as one of the founding faculty members of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Tribhuvan University in 1981, and is currently a professor of Sociology at TU. Dr. Bhattachan received his doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley in 1993 on a Fulbright-Hays fellowship, and then returned to Nepal to engage in struggles for social justice and equality. His research and advocacy has focused on the rights-based social movements of indigenous groups, women, dalits, Madhesi groups, and other linguistic and religious minorities. Learn more about Dr. Bhattachan here.

See the full symposium program here, with information on panels, presenter abstracts, and discussants.

Presenter & Participation Criteria

Abstract submissions are open to both Nepali students (BA level and above) and non-Nepali students (BA level and above). Participation and attendance at the symposium is open to all.

Abstract Submission

[currently closed, no longer accepting abstracts]

Prospective presenters should submit an abstract of no more than 300 words along with brief CV no later than July 31, 2016 – Deadline Extended! All materials must be submitted through the Google form linked here and below.

Emailed abstracts will not be reviewed. We will accept two categories of abstracts, only 1 abstract per person:

  1. Research: research abstracts must detail original research conducted by the student. Abstract sub-headings will include: Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, and Conclusion; and
  2. Perspectives: perspective abstracts are non-research based and are shaped by a critical appraisal of the literature. Abstract sub-headings will include: Introduction, Discussion, and Conclusion.

Presenters will be notified by August 15, 2016 of their acceptance, and will then be required to submit a final 250 words abstract by September 1, 2016 to be printed in the event program.


yellow rice fields and village in NepalWe encourage papers that focus on one of four themes within the broader scope of contemporary issues in Nepali society:

  1. Political ecology and climate change
  2. Ethnic federalism and Nepal’s new constitution
  3. Global health and humanitarianism
  4. Human and economic development

Abstracts will be grouped into panels by a review committee based on  alignment with these topic areas. Panels will be moderated by discussants from leading Nepal-based research institutions and universities.

Registration and Costs

The cost of registration is NRs 300 per Nepali participants, and NRs 1000 for non-Nepali participants; includes lunch as well as refreshments and snacks throughout the day.  Accepted presenters will have registration costs waived.

Important Dates

Deadline for initial abstract submissions via Google form July 31, 2016
Notification of acceptance to panel August 15, 2016
Deadline for final abstract submission for symposium program September 1, 2016
Registration opens, meet and great with snacks, and Keynote Lecture September 12, 2016
Full day symposium in Kathmandu at Yalamaya Kendra in Patan September 13, 2016

 Mark your calendars and see you there!