Bios


Jeevan Baniya
is a Researcher at the Social Science Baha in Kathmandu and a member of teaching faculty at Tribhuvan University, where he teaches Master’s degree courses on State Building and State Failure, Public Policy and Governance, Comparative Politics and Development Studies. He holds an MA from Ajou University GSIS, South Korea, and a PhD in Political Science from the Faculty of Social Science, University of Oslo, Norway, on social movements, civil society and democratization in Nepal. At Social Science Baha he is involved in planning and designing research, analysis and report writing, coordinating research projects, mentoring field workers, and liaising with partner organisations and stakeholders. Previously, he worked as a research fellow at the Nautilus Institute (Seoul Branch) and the Democracy and Social Movements Institute (DaSMI), Sungkonghoe University, Seoul, South Korea. He also worked briefly for the National Reconstruction Authority (Government of Nepal), as a Social Inclusion and Grievance Management Advisor for the Rural Housing Reconstruction Programme (RHRP). He has published on state and society relations, inclusion and exclusion, conflict and peace, gender, politics and development, governance, labour migration, and disasters.


Michael Hutt
is Professor of Nepali and Himalayan Studies at SOAS University of London. He completed a BA in South Asian Studies in 1980 and a Ph.D. on the history of the Nepali language and its literature in 1984, both at SOAS. After three years in local government he returned to SOAS as a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow in 1987, and has been engaged in teaching and research relating to Nepal and the Himalaya there ever since. At SOAS he has served as a Head of Department, a Faculty Dean and most recently as the founding Director of the SOAS South Asia Institute. The study of modern and contemporary Nepali literature is Hutt’s home ground, but he has also published extensively on Nepali and Bhutanese politics, the Nepali diaspora in India, Nepali art and architecture, and the Bhutanese refugee issue. He has been a member of the executive committee of the Britain-Nepal Academic Council ever since its foundation in 2000; he has also served two terms as editor of the European Bulletin of Himalayan Research.


Erich Kesse
is the Digital Library Project Officer at SOAS University of London. A metadata specialist by training with a Master’s degree in Library Science from the University of Kentucky, he is also certified as a preservation administrator, with advanced post-graduate work at Columbia University. Before coming to SOAS, he held various contracts from the U.S. Department of State, often on cultural heritage digitisation planning assignments to earthquake stricken countries. Previously, he served as Director of the University of Florida’s Digital Library Center; Technology Director for the multi-national Digital Library of the Caribbean; and Chair of Preservation for library resources at the University of Florida. His funded projects have concentrated on, among other things, building constructs for the geographic exploration of people and events at the juxtapositon of place and time. Erich tells us that librarians are ‘metaphysicians who love to catalogue whole universes from the start, but only live on the planets they find habitable’.

 

Raghav Kishore is Executive Officer at, and a Research Associate of, the SOAS South Asia Institute. Raghav completed his PhD in History at SOAS in 2013 and has worked in a variety of roles in higher education. Along with his work at SSAI and on the Violent Sway project, he continues to have active research interests and has published his research in the fields of urban and health history, with a particular focus on South Asia.


Mark Liechty
holds a 1994 Ph.D from the University of Pennsylvania and is a Professor at the University of Illinois Chicago. He is a South Asianist by training with a research specialization in the modern culture and history of Nepal, and his professional appointment at UIC is split between the Anthropology and History departments. Liechty has published extensively on the emergence of a middle-class consumer culture in Kathmandu and on the history of tourism in Nepal. His teaching at UIC focuses on world history, South Asian colonial history, culture theory, youth culture, and cultures of the body. He is co-editor of the journal Studies in Nepali History and Society.


Stefanie Lotter
is an AHRC Research Fellow and Senior Teaching Fellow at SOAS University of London. She holds degrees in social anthropology (PhD University of Heidelberg, MA SOAS,) and museum studies (PGDip University of Leicester). She has worked not only in academic institutions (the University of Heidelberg, the University of the Witwatersrand and SOAS) but also at museums, (the Horniman Museum in London, the Namgyal institute in Sikkim and the Workers Museum in Johannesburg). With an interest in the anthropology of elites and in critical heritage studies she is currently exploring the dynamics of heritage decision making in post conflict, post earthquake Nepal. She is an executive member of the Britain-Nepal Academic Council and works for Cambridge International Examinations on test construction.


Yogesh Raj
is Chair of the Martin Chautari Institute of Research and Policy. He holds Masters degrees in Historical Linguistics and Engineering from Tribhuvan University in Nepal and an MSc and PhD (2012) in the history of technology from Imperial College London. He specialises in the relationship between large-scale manufacture of everyday commodities and the emergence of the modern state in South Asia. Raj has published widely, from toponymical studies to epigraphy, and from oral history to social history of Nepal and South Asia.


Khem Shreesh
received his Bachelor’s degree in physics and mathematics and his Master’s degree in business studies from Tribhuvan University, Nepal. He is now trying to teach himself social sciences and humanities, which he feels offer better explanations of human behaviour and decision making, including his own. He was awarded the Toni Hagen Fellowship in the Social Sciences in 2009 and has worked as a research consultant and copy-editor for national and international organisations in Nepal. His current interest is the transformation of identities of peoples and places brought about by mobilities.


John Whelpton
is an honorary research associate of the Chinese University of Hong Kong and has worked as a Latin tutor since retiring from secondary school English teaching in 2010. After graduating in Classics from Trinity College, Oxford in 1972 he taught English as a VSO in Birgunj and Kathmandu. He then worked in the Ministry of Defence in London from 1975 until 1981, when he became a research student at SOAS, writing a Ph.D thesis on Jang Bahadur Rana’s rise to power. He was also a founder member of the editorial committee of South Asia Research. He has been based in Hong Kong since 1987, but makes frequent visits to Nepal and has published extensively on Nepali history and politics. He has a special interest in national and ethnic identity and is also researching the relationship between Christianity and Nepali society.