Safar - Kathmandu, Nepal orungupto@gmail.com

ACTIVITIES

Activities

Feb 1-2, 2020

Asian Studies Conference II on Nature and Environment in Sauraha, Chitwan National Park, Chitwan, Nepal.  You can write academic papers, plan performances, and exhibit visuals.  Please send your abstracts (500 words) to cassa.arh@gmail.com. Also visit http://cassanepal.org/pages/activities for more information.

Critical Digital Humanities and Participatory Design: A Workshop Series in Kathmandu,    Nepal

Date: June 13-30, 2019 (3 weeks), 

Venue: Malpi International College, Baluwatar, Kathmandu, 

Host Organization: South Asian Foundation for Academic Research (SAFAR), 

Facilitators: Dr. Laura Gonzales (The University of Florida), Ms. Bibhushana Poudyal (SAFAR & UTEP: The University of Texas at El Paso), 

Coordinator: Prof. Arun Gupto

Introduction: Digital Humanities (DH)

DH is an academic field and a scholarly activity at the intersection of the various computational tools or digital technologies and the various disciplines of Humanities. It both uses and reflects upon the application of the various digital technologies by engaging with old and new critical and crucial questions in Humanities. DH is considered to be the methods to address the demand and desire for interdisciplinary methodologies that is necessary to address the shifting ecologies of knowledge production and dissemination and to create a pedagogical atmosphere which transgresses current pedagogical limitations.

The question is where do we stand in this changing academic, scholarly, and pedagogic scenario? We can check this infographic which attempts at quantifying Digital Humanities around the globe: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/infostudies/melissa-terras/DigitalHumanitiesInfographic.pdf. This might not be the only way to measure it, but it is definitely one of the significant ways to see our participation, contribution, and agency in this shifting ecologies where the printed words are not the only way of knowledge production and dissemination. This also means where our scholarship, research, and academia are in this globalized present. . . .Some of the examples of those re-presentations can be palpated in the digital archival projects called like Digital Archaeology Foundation[1], 2015 Nepal Earthquake[2], The Thak Archive[3], and Birds of Nepal[4]. These are created by West and is archived on West-based institutions.In these digital archives, the knowledge that are produced and disseminated about Nepal has a very simplistic dimension: exotic and/or damage-based. However unintentional and well-intentioned they are, these digital archives about Nepal are no different than what Edward Said (1978) aptly remarked vis-à-vis Description de l’Égypte, the “great collective appropriation of one country by another” (84). And Nepal is just an example. What we are talking about here is the dominant portrayal and creation of Non-Western worlds in the digital spaces by Western institutions.

Only when Digital Humanities or Digital Research and Writing Labs are incorporated in our academia and libraries, the scenarios can start changing. In the Western countries, Non-Western and Western scholars have started engaging in Post/Decolonial Digital Humanities[5]and Feminist Digital Humanities[6]projects where the digitally untold and yet-to-be circulated knowledge system and information have started to be distributed. What we need now is Non-Western based academic and scholarly spaces with infrastructures that support and endorses the projects like these, which we emphatically call Critical Digital Humanities.

Goal

The purpose and goal of these workshops will be to provide hands-on training and experiences in digital publishing for scholars in South Asia. The academics involved will provide training in digital tools starting with minimal computing and extending to digital archiving platforms. Through a participatory design and critical framework, our implied goal is to demystify or eliminate hesitancies that scholars may have toward digital publications, instead positioning scholars as experts who can make valuable contributions to Digital Humanities practices and conversations.

No prior experience with Digital Humanities research is necessary to participate in the workshops. All newcomers are welcomed, as the program will begin with an introduction to Digital Humanities and digital publishing platforms. Through this workshop, attendees will collaborate on a digital publication that illustrates their own experiences, backgrounds, and cultures in digital spaces.

Significance

These workshops will serve as one step in a broader initiative to build more collaborative, reciprocal relationship between institutions in the US such as The University of Texas at El Paso and institutions of higher education in Nepal and South Asia. The meet will build a pathway for participants to situate themselves and their work within the fields of Digital Humanities, imagining together what (re)presentations of South Asia in online spaces can look like with more participation and engagement from Nepali and South Asian scholars in these areas.

Future Connectivity

The platform will establish a reciprocal relationship between Digital Humanities scholars in the US and in Nepal and South Asia, leading to long-term DH initiatives that enhance the representation and depth of South Asian intellectual knowledge in online spaces.

[1]See https://www.digitalarchaeologyfoundation.com/about-the-digital-archaeology-foundation/

[2]See https://archive-it.org/collections/5764

[3]See http://www.digitalhimalaya.com/collections/thakarchive/Digital Himalaya

[4]http://www.digitalhimalaya.com/collections/birdsofnepal/Digital Himalaya

[5]See https://www.utpjournals.press/doi/abs/10.3138/carto.47.3.1069http://dhpoco.org/blog/2014/04/08/a-postcolonial-distant-reading-of-eighteenth-and-nineteenth-century-anglophone-literature/http://www.slavevoyages.org/https://dsl.richmond.edu/panorama/redlining/#loc=4/36.71/-96.93&opacity=0.8https://www.saada.org/; https://www.wired.com/story/ice-is-everywhere-using-library-science-to-map-child-separation/

[6]See https://wwp.northeastern.edu/http://bcrw.barnard.edu/digital-feminist-archives/https://guides.lib.umich.edu/c.php?g=282777&p=1884212https://riseupfeministarchive.ca/

For updated information, please visit http://cassacda.com/localizing-digital-humanities.

Contact for Registration:

Prof. Sangita Rayamajhi, sangita.rayamajhi@gmail.com, Mobile: 00977-9818538797

Prof. Arun Gupto, orungupto@gmail.com, Mobile: 00977-9841476911

For Registration

Amount to be credited at:

Center for Advanced Study in South Asia

Nepal SBI Bank Ltd., Patan Branch

A/c number 20225240200443

Swift code-NSBINPKA (for foreign students only)

SAFAR is unable to pay the travel and hotel expenses for the workshop. We will provide lunch and tea to all the participants during the sessions. We can help you by providing hotel information. You may like to contact to OYO chain of hotels in Kathmandu.

Registration detail:

Institutions of SAARC countries: NPR 20,000.00

Individual participants SAARC countries: NPR15,000.00

Individual Participants outside of the SAARC Region: NPR 25,000.00

Institutions outside of the SAARC Region: NPR 30,000.00

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Nepal Cultural Studies: Memory and Emotion

The research is about interdisciplinary study of Nepali culture from the points of memory and emotion. The papers are aimed at compiling an anthology on Nepal Studies which is a multidisciplinary research on history, culture, ecology, and politics, four major disciplines of contemporary academic significance to introduce Nepal.

These are two of the significant notables of memory studies.

The major questions the research tries to answer are: how memory of a nation works in relation to the study of arts and narratives, nationalism and colonialism, nature and disaster, and politics of resistance and performance? Since emotion is a major stimulus to individual, group, historical, and material memory, the research papers address further questions like how we participate in the society we live in. How we communicate meanings and how do we behave emotionally in public sphere, instead of emotional behavior in private domain, in terms with ethnicity, identity, democracy, revolution, environmentalism, gender, and politics. The social theory of emotion thus will help understand aspects of memory and culture in general.

Prof. Arun Gupto, Prof. Sangita Rayamajhi, Mr. Ajay Bhadra Khanal: Research Advisors

Cultural History

  • Neela Adhikari: Poetics of Democracy from Monarchy to Maoist Revolution (History, Politics) In the research project, I trace Nepali history from the point of view of democracy in the 20th and 21st centuries. I will glance back on the nature and function of democracy and analyze present democratic behavior after the Maoist revolution. The paper will provide a background to Nepali studies in general and origin and rise of democracy in Nepal.Seeking a position where I can utilize my skills and knowledge to contribute towards institutional as well as personal growth, I am interested in the field of tradition of democracy in Nepal, Gerontology. I have done my Masters in English from Tribhuvan University and M. Phil (ABD) from IACER. I have been teaching English literature in different colleges. At present I am an elected member of Dhulikhel Municipality.
  • Govinda Sanjel: Literature and Culture: Epics, Novels, and Plays of the 20th century (History of Literature)My focus is the study of history of literatures of Nepal from various regions of Nepal. I select literary texts from Nepali, Newari, and Maithali languages. The particular genre I will focus is fiction. The selection will be based on contemporary literary texts.I am the Vice-Principal of Anant Secondary School since 2007. I have completed my MA in English from IACER. I’ve recently started my career as a lecturer for bachelor level students at NIMS College affiliated to Tribhuvan University. I have completed M. Phil in English and have been nominated for the Dean’s List. I’m keenly engaged in the area of International Relations, particularly from the location of South Asia. I’ve been writing articles in the national dailies, scholarly journals. My M. Phil thesis is on “Nepal China Diplomatic relations.”
  • Dipak Bastakoti: External Determinism and Nepali nationalism (Emotion, Memory, Politics)In this paper I analyze discourse on Nepali nationality and nationalism as manifestations of emotion. My proposition is how suspicion, fear, and anger have played crucial roles in constructing Nepali nationalism in the last two hundred years in the historical milestones of Anglo-Nepal war of the late 19th century, relation between monarchy and India, and border issues at the present times.I am an experienced traveler. I have walked extensively in the Himalayas, have visited some South East Asian countries, South Africa, and India with due interest in society and life. My M.Phil. in English thesis is entitled Discoursing Nepali Nationalism as Emotions. I am an Master of Business Studies from Tribhuvan Universty. I have taken training in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Language) from London Teachers Training College, UK in 2010. I organize and lead treks/tours in the Himalayas, Research, and working on a book entitled Mt. Everest Climbing from Sherpa Women’s Perspective. I am writing a collection of short stories.
  • Khagendra Nepal: Travel Narratives and Representation (Travel Writing, Cultural Representation)I concentrate on reading travel narratives and how memory works to represent culture to which the writers belong to and how they glance back when they move out of their comfort zones. I will select autobiographical texts written in Nepal and abroad.I have a Master’s Degree in English from Tribhuvan University. MPhil in English (ADB). My interest in the field Art and Literature has prompted me to work on travel narratives. I am the Programme Coordinator and Lecturer of English at Ambition College.
  • Menuka Gurung: Gorkhas in Nepali Literature: De-mythicizing the tales of Glory and Heroism (Colonial Past, Masculinity, Patriotism). My focus is on how Nepali literary texts have made considerable reference to the Gorkhas. I discourse that the idea of being ‘Gurkhas’ is less infused by the idea of glory and heroism and more by obligation and necessity. I thus deconstruct representation as bravery and heroism to de-mythicize the popular idea disseminated by the canonical praise-discourse. A permanent resident of Kathmandu, is a Teacher and Content Writer by profession. I am an M. A. (English) from Tribhuvan University and M. B. A. (Tourism Management, UK). I am also an M. Phil in English (ABD) at IACER. I have been teaching English language and literature since 2000 and has been working in the field of Tourism as Sales Executive and Content Writer since 2013. My areas of interest are literature, literary theory and criticism, and spirituality. When I am not working, I am found travelling, reading books, writing poems, talking to my dog, watching animes, posting comments on Facebook.

Visual Culture

  • Bhushan Jha: Ideas as Images: preservation of Buddhist concepts In Nepal Mandala (City Studies. Memory, Buddhism)Five of the key ideas of Buddhism (karuna, pragya, synyata, sangha, pranidhan or Bodhisatwa vows) can be seen in the images, architectures, bahals (viharas), and performances in Patan city, Kathmandu Valley. The focus of my paper is to describe how these Buddhist ideas at large are locally represented in the arts of the city.I am a M. A. graduate in Buddhist Studies, Tribhuvan University and M. Phil in English from Pokhara University. I have taken twenty weeks of Extensive Academic English Programme; Direct Entry Programme from Griffith University, Australia. My area of interest – democracy, rule of law, governance.
  • Bibhushana Paudyal: Museum and Colonial Ideology (Memory, Cultural History, Colonialism)The area of my research is museums in Nepal and their messages. As the term message can be too broad to cover in a single research paper, I plan to focus on the messages the museums deliver from inside the physical space of museum and how museums are discussed outside of it. The paper is structured into two parts: first, the message officially delivered from inside museum, and second, the message discussed outside museums.I am a literary theorist by interest and taken photography as my research hobby. My major book project is Gendering South Asia, a book in preparation with Routledge. I am a South Asian gendered-postcolonialist who is working from the location of Digital Humanities. At present I am a doctoral student at University of Texas El Paso. I have completed M. Phil. in English.
  • Ganesh Khaniya: Kathmandu Architecture and Backward Glance into Water Management (Architecture, Ritualism, Water Sprouts)I study the relationship between the vanishing stone water sprouts or Dhunge dharas in the valley and their past and present significations of water management. History of Dhunge dhara can be traced back to the Licchavi period (AD 78-800) and is marked by the long historical timeline. The Raj Kulo (royal canal) constructed under royal decree of the period aimed at compulsory community mobilization, water for irrigation to farmland, fish farming, operation of water mills, and drinking water, and more importantly, religious worship of the state deity. This interconnected use of water for multiple purposes kept on evolving. The changing situation of urban and even village life, particularly with regards to the introduction of modern water supply systems, has led to a loss of numerous traditional dharas, especially from the last two decades. I am a civil engineer by profession. I love to read and share ideas with my friends. Reading, I know, makes us a better citizen. I travel and trace culture from the point of view of scientific perspectives. I am an M. Phil in English (ABD).
  • Sachita Sharma Dhakal: Managing Memory: Ghost and Psychology of Children (Supernatural, Children, Psychology)This paper documents and analyzes different existing stories on ghost in Nepal. I will discuss how ghosts hold powerful memory as awe and fear in the mind of children and how they shape their psychology. How important are ghost stories to manage child education which otherwise are aspects of fear and terror. Master degree in English from Tribhuvan University and MPhil ongoing from IADSC_2731CER, I have taken a detour of Australia at present. My areas of interests are disable studies, literature and law.

Ecology

  • Rejina KC: Tree Worship in the Himalayas and Terai: Devotion and Ecology (Ecology, Ritual) The environmental significance of trees and plants worshipped in Nepal is the topic of my research. I will be focused on the relation between religion and tree worship and answer questions like: are trees memories of devotion as ecological awareness and how related deities are represented in the practices of devotion and ecological awareness? I have completed my Master’s Degree from Tribhuvan University. My field of Interest is Literature, Environment and Ecology. I have completed M. Phil in English from IACER, Pokhara University. I have been teaching English in high school and undergraduate students in Kathmandu. I enjoy the freedom of gender identity.
  • Shankar Paudel: Tracing Mind of Rivers and Ritus (Memory, Nature, Human Interaction): The area of my research is Ritus and Rivers of the mid Himalayas. In the context of human interaction with Nature, I plan to focus on how the shape and size of the rivers in Chitwan and Morang districts affect the day to day activities in different Ritus. The transformation of rivers in these four seasons is a natural phenomenon but the day to day lives of humans are economically and agriculturally connected. How do natural memory shape economic and agricultural lives of people and how do people realize that nature also have memories to bless and curse when we interact with them? I am a permanent resident of Biratnagar, Nepal. I am the Principal of Hilary School, Kathmandu. I teach Environmental Science and General Science in the school and Principle of Management to Graduate Level at Arya College. I have M. A. (Sociology) and M. Phil. (English). I have been awarded the Dean List for M. Phil. My academic research is related with Environmental Historiography. I am a PhD student at the University of Texas at El Paso, USA in Rhetoric and Writing Studies (RWS).

  • Sangita Sigdel and Prakash Prakash Maharjan: Witness, Memory, and Emotion in Nepali Court (Memory, Emotion, Law)Witness examination is a base to testify the incrimination or accusation in court cases. Complete reliance on witness statements may cause injustice to innocent alleged persons. Witness examination is a source of evidence and the tools for establishing proves of human errors and reliable memory. Witnessing manifests the status of knowledge or cognizant of particular situation as it is visualized by their eyes. Sometimes it may be their claim based on emotions which is necessary to get acknowledged to elicit reason and intent hidden in their statements. We will study how emotion and memory are instruments of logic and rationality in court cases in Nepal.I am Sangita. I have completed Master’s Degree in English from Tribhuvan University and pursuing M. Phil. in English from Pokhara University.My field of interest is Law and studying LLB. I am currently teaching English at Mangalodaya Multiple Campus, Thankot.I am Prakash Maharjan, a lawyer by profession and teach management and methodology. I was the President of Lalitpur Bar Association. I think logic and philosophy are the key disciplines to strengthen legal practices so that we impart humanistic views to solving the problems of society.
  • Sedunath Dhakal: Borderland, Culture, and Contestation (Border Studies, Emotion, Identity)This paper aims to describe the geographical, cultural, and socio-economic activities across the Nepal–India border. It also highlights how the border has created the contestation with different activities from the socio-cultural celebration to the economic and political relations, and also terrorism and criminal activities. It traces the historical contexts of setting the border in general, and the context of Nepal-India border in particular.I have degrees in English (M.A. and M. Phil.). My areas interest are Culture, Identity, Conflict Studies as well as literary theory and philosophy. I teache Critical Thinking and Practical Criticism, Essay and Short Storiesat Koteshwor Multiple Campus, Koteshwor, Kathmandu.
  • Karuna Karki and Megh Adhikari: Humiliation: archetypes of memory (Labor, Identity)Humiliation is the archetype of memory in the religious, ethnic, and cast order of the Hindus in South Asia. Our imperial study observes and explains how humiliation is the major psychological feature among house hold workers. Does humiliation contest identity and is it the underlying factor of resistance or silent negotiation with inequality and poverty?I am Karuna. I have Master Degree in English. I am in M. Phil. program (ABD). My key area of interest is Literature and memory. I teach Business Communication at Nepal College of Travel & Tourism Management.I am Megh Raj Adhikari. I am passionate about English Literature and is interested in cultural studies focusing on South Asia. I have been teaching English Language and Literature in the colleges in Kathmandu and is also involved in research projects focused on South Studies. I am a language trainer by profession.

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Oct 12-16, 2019:

SAFAR is organizing Nepal-Bangladesh Workshop and Digital Humanities Workshop in English Department, Premier University, Chittagong, Bangladesh.

Bangladesh Studies (BD): Memory, Emotion, and Envisioning Nation Research Advisors: Prof. Manzoorul Islam, Prof. Arun Gupto Researchers are welcome to participate on BD. You can contact Students Advisors for further information. The present research is done by a group of writers from Chittagong, Bangladesh. The areas are divided in the following fields.

Past: Memory Pre-colonial Oral and Written Literatures of Bangladesh Colonial Monuments and Buildings Independence Narratives Language Movement

Present: Anxiety/Fear (Emotion) Rivers, Floods, and Nature Water Conflict Bengal and Islam Citizenship, Refugee, and Migration Identities and Crises

Future: Envisioning Nation University Study: Education, Politics, Performance Folk culture and Folk art Islamic Art Buddhist Sites Gender Studies

Researchers 

  • Abdur Rahim
  • Ataullah Nuri
  • Rafiqul Islam
  • Solaiman Chowdhury
  • Ghazi Sahadat Hossain
  • Kohinoor Akter
  • Rezwana Chowdhury
  • Rowshan Ara Yasmin
  • Rowshan Jahan Chowdhury
  • Rumana Chowdhury
  • Sadat Zaman Khan
  • Shahidul Alam Chowdhury
  • Shaibal Dev Roy
  • Shahnaz Pervin
  • Shantanu Das
  • Sumit Chowdhury
  • Dr. Perween Hasan
  • Syed Jashim Uddin
  • Syeda Salma Akther
  • Imtiaz Ahmad
  • Jamil Ahmed

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Comparative South Asian Studies (CSAS) CSAS is a research venture which tries critique existing South Asian Studies as represented in books and university syllabi. The existing research aims to publish an anthology edited by Arun Gupto, Diksha Dhar, and Pallabi Gupta.

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Four Gray Walls and Four Gray Towers: A Documentary on Kathmandu Valley Urban Studies is one of the major aspects of contemporary research. Urban sociology, planning, and geography are the entities to study cities. Furthermore, from the early twentieth century ideas of human ecology about human social adjustments to the digital age ideas of smart cities, Urban studies has covered a vast areas of study. The study of space, neighborhood, migration, uneven development, crime, nightlife, and ecology are some of the key concerns of Urban Studies. Kathmandu and it adjacent cities are the cultural spaces which include such concerns from multiple perspectives like myth, art, religion, politics, and economy.

Production Team

Arun Gupto: Concept and Script Salil Subedi: Director Renuka Khatiwada and Prabhat Humagain: Camera Girish Subedi: Music and sound editing

Major cast Host: Prof Arun Gupto Guest: Prof. Abhi Subedi