2017 Senior Fellowship Award Winner
The Association for Nepal and Himalayan Studies is pleased to announce the 2017 Senior Fellowship award winner, Dr. Jan Brunson.
Dr. Brunson is an Associate Professor in Anthropology at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.
Project Title: It’s time: Negotiating biomedical, temporal, and embodied perspectives on the timing of birth in Nepal
Abstract: The revision of knowledge in the biomedical sciences is an expected part of how science operates. Recent debates on redefining “term” in obstetrics have highlighted how a commonly accepted scientific fact, a woman’s estimated date of delivery, is in practice shaped by multiple understandings about the timing of birth and subject to revision. Despite the ongoing capacity building and acquisition of high-tech equipment for offering cutting-edge management of pre- and post-term birth in Nepal, little attention in Himalayan studies has been paid to the enactment of high-tech medical care during pregnancy and birth. I propose to explore the standardization of time in obstetrics and its translation into practice in Nepal by analyzing the various perspectives that determine a woman’s ideal time of delivery: those of laypeople, doctors, and the scholars setting the guidelines. Through ethnographic research in a major hospital and the surrounding community, I aim to document Nepali health practitioners’ negotiation of multiple understandings of parturition and strategies for overcoming the challenges of pre- and post-term births in Nepal.