Dr. Shneiderman is a socio-cultural anthropologist working in the Himalayan regions of Nepal, India, and China’s Tibetan Autonomous Region. She is part of the Executive Committee for CISAR, and is part of the steering committee for the recently launched Himalaya Program at UBC. Her research explores the relationships between political discourse, ritual action, and cross-border mobility in producing ethnic identities and shaping social transformation.
She received my PhD (2009) and MA (2004) from Cornell University, following a BA with Honors from Brown University in both Anthropology and Religious Studies (1997). Before coming to UBC, she was an Assistant Professor in Anthropology and South Asian Studies at Yale University from 2011-2014, and a Research Fellow at St Catharine’s College, University of Cambridge, from 2009-2011. Her research has been funded by the Fulbright Foundation, the National Science Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, the American Council of Learned Societies/Mellon Foundation, the British Academy, and the Wenner-Gren Foundation.
Dr. Shneiderman’s current research projects include an ethnography of “post-conflict” state restructuring in Nepal that focuses on lived experiences of citizenship, territory and religiosity since 2006, and an exploration of trans-Himalayan citizenship across the historical and contemporary borders of India, China, and Nepal. In the wake of Nepal’s April and May 2015 earthquakes, she is engaged in relief efforts focused on rural areas. Please see the Association of Nepal and Himalayan Studies earthquake relief page for more information.
Her new book is titled Rituals of Ethnicity: Thangmi Identities Between Nepal and India. An ethnography focusing on the cross-border circulation of Thangmi people and their ideas about ethnic, national, religious and political identity, Rituals of Ethnicity offers new explanations for the powerful persistence of ethnicity as a category of identification today despite the increasing realities of mobile, translocal lives. The book is based on over a decade of ethnographic research with diverse members of the Thangmi community in the Dolakha and Sindhupalchok districts of central-eastern Nepal, as well as in the Darjeeling district of West Bengal, India, and the neighboring state of Sikkim. All royalties from the sale of the book will be donated to organizations supporting Thangmi communities of Dolakha and Sindhupalchok to rebuild after the earthquakes devastated their villages.