Human and other-than-human socialities in agro-pastoral communities of North-Western Nepal
|Director of thesis||Prof. Peter Finke|
|Co-director of thesis|
|Summary of thesis||
My fieldsite is located in the Limi pasturelands, Humla district, north-western Nepal, at the border with the Tibet Autonomous Region and between roughly 4’000 and 5’000 meters. The inhabitants are referred to as Limê, speak a unique Tibetan dialect and are of Mahayanna Buddhist belief (Drikung Kagyu order) combined to local animist beliefs. My aim is to analyse, through an intersectional lens, yak and dew (female yak) herders’ ecological cosmology, namely how they conceive of their place, as human beings, within the ecosystem, and their interaction, interbeing, and interdependence with their environment and animals – both domestic and wild. Today, this Limê eco-cosmology is at the crossroads of major transformative dynamics. I would like to study those, with their ecological and social consequences (with a specific focus on gender and human-other-than-human relations). I argue that this eco-cosmology is best reflected in Limê's pastoral practice, thanks to the relationship between herders and other-than-human beings with whom they share a landscape. From there, my main hypothesis is that the entanglements between the human, natural, supernatural and animal realms are undergoing deep transformations impulsed by an extractivist logics encouraged by the Chinese market economy (of which they are vitally depedent nowadays). Thus, I am interested in the socio-cultural and ecological implications of the confrontation and/or articulation of different worldviews on humans, nature, spirits and animals, as I strive to account for these in non-anthropocentric and intersectional ways.
|Administrative delay for the defence||2021|