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About

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 explore the intersections between development, ethnic identities, transnational migration, and environmental change in the Himalayas.

Through my research methodology, I attempt to disrupt ways of thinking about identity as solely state building practices of classification. Instead, I view identity as a constantly evolving cosmology of history, culture, and power. Accounting for aspects such as, transnational migration, religion, and local place-based 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 and filmmaking. I believe these methods establish a platform to document oral histories and social change in a way that is often lost in the technical debates surrounding development.

I am currently a Liu Scholar, Public Scholar, and PhD student in Anthropology at the University of British Columbia. My work explores the relationship between transnational labour migration and climate change in Nepal’s high altitude mountain communities in Lower Mustang, situated adjacent to the Tibetan Autonomous Region of China.

https://anth.ubc.ca/faculty/emily-amburgey/

https://sppga.ubc.ca/liu-scholars/emily-amburgey/

https://www.grad.ubc.ca/campus-community/meet-our-students/amburgey-emily