Areas of research and interest
Himalaya, Tibet, Central Asia, borderland studies, medical anthropology
Institut für Ethnologie
Phone: +49 (0) 89 / 2180 - 9639
Appointments via email
More information on the project website: www.highlandasia.net
Project presentation: YouTube video
since 2015 Research Group Leader, ERC Starting Grant Project “Remoteness and Connectivity: Highland Asia in the World”
2013-2015 Marie Curie Fellow at the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich
2011–2013 Postdoctoral Fellow, Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore
2010–2012 Postdoctoral Associate in the School of Anthropology, University of Oxford
2006–2010 Doctoral studies on a Clarendon scholarship at the University of Oxford, Institute of Social & Cultural Anthropology, under the supervision of Charles Ramble and Elisabeth Hsu. Thesis: Manufacturing Tibetan Medicine. The Creation of an Industry and the Moral Economy of Tibetanness, assessed by Marcus Banks and Mona Schrempf.
2007–2008 Field research on the industrialisation of Tibetan medicine in the People’s Republic of China and transnational trade in medicinal plants.
2005–2006 Lecturer for Visual Anthropology at the University of Zurich, assistant to Prof. M. Oppitz. Responsibilities: teaching an introductory course in visual anthropology and a seminar on making ethnographic films, supervising student film projects, contributing to the exhibition "Trommeln der Schamanen" (2007-2008).
1998–2005 Studies of Anthropology and Sociology at the University of Zurich, Lic. phil (summa cum laude).
2003–2005 Masters thesis, including feature length documentary film “Journeys with Tibetan medicine”.
2003 Field research in Buryatia on the history of Tibetan medicine in Russia.
2002 Exploratory field research in Northern India on Tibetan medicine and ritual music (five months).
2000 Field research on ageing in Zurich’s red light district, documentary film “Mosimann”.
1994–1995 Theatre studies at the University of Bern, Switzerland.
Awards and Grants
2015 ERC-Starting Grant, Project Remoteness and Connectivity: Highland Asia in the World, 5 years of funding for a team of 4 people, starting in May 2015.
2013 Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowship, FP7-PEOPLE-2011-IEF, Project NEIGHBOURING – 298595, 2 years of funding
2012 Research Grant, Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore.
2011 ARI Academic Event Funding, Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore; used to organise international workshop "The Art of Neighbouring", 1–2 March 2012
2011 Research Fellowship for Prospective Researchers, Swiss National Science Foundation (18 months).
2010 Writing-up bursary, School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnology, Oxford.
2009 Rajiv Gandhi Foundation’s Travelling Scholarship to India.
2008 Recipient of Zurich University’s research funding (tenable for last phase of research and writing up 2009 - 2010).
2007 SASS Language Training Grant for the study of Tibetan at Tibet University in Lhasa; Society for South Asian Studies (UK).
2006 Clarendon Scholarship; University of Oxford (3-years full funding).
2006 ORS Award (Overseas Research Students Award Scheme, UK Government, 3-years)
Theatre Plays and Documentary Films
2005 Director & editor: “Journeys with Tibetan Medicine”. Documentary (76 min). Cinema release in Switzerland, invited to several international festivals (see www.anyma.ch/documentaries)
2000 Cinematographer/co-director/writer: “Mosimann”. Documentary film (74 min) on ageing in Zurich's red light district.
1997 Director: “Versuch mit der Dauer der Liebe”, theatre play, on tour in Switzerland (St. Gallen, Frauenfeld, and Zurich).
1996 Director/writer: “Cyberfaust”, theatre play, on tour in Switzerland, invited to the Landis & Gyr Kulturfestival.
since 2012 The Other Image – Visual Ethnography: www.theotherimage.com
Mar 2015 "Neue Strassen, alte Wegen: Händler, Yaks, und chinesische Lastwagen im Himalaja", Public lecture at the Songtsen House, Zurich, Switzerland, 13 March 2015.
Jan 2015 "Remoteness and Connectivity in the Himalayas", International Guest Lecture at the Austrian Academy of Sciences, Institute of Social Anthropology, Vienna, 29 January 2015.
Dec 2014 "The Limi Road: Reconnecting a Periphery", presented at the 4th Conference of the Asian Borderlands Research Network Activated Borders – Re-openings, Ruptures and Relationships, 8–10 December 2014, Hong Kong.
May 2014 "The Role of Commerce in Himalayan Frontier Communities: Preliminary Reflections on the Nexus of Remoteness and Connectivity”, presented at the conference "Commerce And Communities: Social Status and the Exchange of Goods in Tibetan Societies”, Bonn 5–6 May 2014.
Dec 2013 "Anthropology's Peripheries – cosmopolitans, pathways, and the second life of development at the edge of disciplines and nation-states", Department of Social Anthropology, University of Stockholm, 9 December.
Nov 2013 "Die Peripherie der Ethnologie. Austausch und Rückzug am Rande des Nationalstaats", Oberseminar, Institut für Ethnologie, LMU München, 4 November.
Sep 2013 "Himalayan Pathways and Central Asian roads: Remoteness and Connectivity in Asian Mountain Societies", Anthropology Club, American University of Central Asia, Bishkek, 20 September.
Jun 2013 "Remote Pathways: The Non-Peripheries at the Edge of Nation-States" (2nd itiration), Crossroads Asia workshop "Tracing Connections – Explorations of Spaces and Places in Asian Multilocalities", ZELF, FU Berlin, 20–21 June.
Apr 2013 "Remote Pathways: The Non-Peripheries at the Edge of Nation-States", cluster seminar talk, Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore, 25 April.
Oct 2012 “In and out of Walung: The History of a Himalayan Pathway in Eastern Nepal”, Connections, Corridors, and Communities: 3rd Conference of the Asian Borderland Research Network, 11–13 October, Singapore.
Aug 2012 “‘Once We Were in the Centre’: Trade and the Aftermath of Development in Humla, Nepal”, paper presented at the Berkeley Summer Research Institute, Institute of East Asian Studies, University of California, Berkeley
Jun 2012 “New Roads, Old Trades: Trans-Himalayan connections”, St.Gallen Institute of Management in Asia, University of St.Gallen, Singapore (organised by Swiss Association Singapore).
May 2012 “Neighbouring China in Northern Nepal”, School of Anthropology and Musuem Ethnology, University of Oxford, 25 May 2012.
Mar 2012 “Remote Cosmopolitans: Rethinking Trans-Himalayan Trade”, paper presented at the international workshop The Art of Neighbouring, Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore, 1 March 2012.
Conferences and Panels organised
2014 Panel convenor (together with Kabir Heimsath): "What is a Connection? Pathways and Intersections in Highland Asia" at the 4th Conference of the Asian Borderlands Research Network Activated Borders – Re-openings, Ruptures and Relationships, 8–10 December 2014, Hong Kong.
2012 Main convenor: The Art of Neighbouring: Old Dynamics and New Connections along the PRC’s borders. International academic workshop, 1–2 March 2012, Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore.
2012 Local co-organiser: Connections, Corridors, and Communities: 3rd Conference of the Asian Borderland Research Network, 11–13 October, Singapore. Organised by IIAS, Leiden, and hosted by Asia Research Institute and Institute for Southeast Asian Studies.
2012 Panel convenor: “Neverlands of Becoming: Fortune, Enterprise and Refuge in the Frontiers” at Connections, Corridors, and Communities: 3rd Conference of the Asian Borderland Research Network, 11–13 October, Singapore.
[the other image] (since March 2012)