Workshop Concept Note

This workshop aims to interrogate the notion of Himalayan Studies writ large, foregrounding connections between academic disciplines, local geographies, and trajectories of study over time. Our collective considerations will highlight links across the landscapes of Himalayan research while considering the often-contested nature of “Himalaya” as an analytical category. We hope this attention to the diverse interests that comprise contemporary Himalayan Studies will be productive, leading to new insights and collaborative research platforms.

Participants will reflect the multidisciplinary nature of work in the region, including scholars from Asia, Europe, and North America, who together span the academic fields of Anthropology, Art History, Conservation Biology, Development Studies, Environmental Studies, History, Political Science, and Religious Studies. The workshop will also include a broad group of Yale faculty from across the university, representing the departments and schools of Anthropology, Forestry and Environmental Studies, History, History of Art, and Religious Studies.

The workshop will consist of approximately twenty invited presenters organized into seven ninety-minute panels, each chaired and moderated by a member of the Yale faculty. Panels will address broad interdisciplinary themes including, political, environmental, historical, cultural, and geographic trajectories of Himalayan Studies. In an effort to generate free flowing creative conversation, participants will present reflections on a shared set of guiding questions in lieu of more formal research papers.

The workshop will coincide with an exhibition highlighting Yale’s collections of Himalayan materials.