My background as a socio-cultural anthropologist informs my perspective as I work to bridge practical and theoretical dimensions of International Development and Anthropology. I am currently exploring the intersections between development, ethnic identities, migration, and gender in Mustang, Nepal. I believe these concepts are not only relevant within my own research, but speak to global debates surrounding development practice and discourse, social transformation, and the recognition of marginalized populations.
Through my research methodology, I attempt to disrupt ways of thinking about identity as solely state building practices of classification, or products of neoliberal reforms. Instead, I view identity as a constantly evolving cosmology of history, culture, and power. Accounting for aspects such as, transnational migration, religion, and local knowledge, it is important to understand how development practices are locally contextualized and reconstituted, how community perceptions and politics are assembled, and how individuals identify with their human and non-human environments.
I seek to integrate experiences in the field through the use of participatory digital storytelling techniques such as, PhotoVoice and filmmaking. I believe these methods establish a platform to document oral histories and social change from a local perspective that is often lost in the technical debates surrounding global development and the transformation of ethnic identities.