THE Association for nepal
and himalayan studies

Celebrating 50 Years of Scholarship and Networking


call for papers

The HSC6 call for papers is now closed.

The Association for Nepal and Himalayan Studies (ANHS) is pleased to announce that HSC 6 will be held at the University of Toronto, on the traditional land of the Huron-Wendat, the Seneca and the Mississaugas of the Credit, from October 13–16, 2022.

The central theme of the conference is “Himalayan Futures”. Positioned between the plains of the Indian subcontinent and the Tibetan Plateau, the Himalayas have become a captivating image in contemporary speculations about the meaning of the present and the possibilities of the future in the Anthropocene. The mountain range sits at the centre of both regional and global anxieties about the effects of climate change. Its ice-capped peaks are the source of Asia’s major river systems – and yet, melting snow and receding glaciers signal potential catastrophe in a region that is warming faster than the global average, affecting lives for millions of downstream populations through extreme weather events. Infrastructure development and extractivist capitalism pose further challenges to a geologically unstable region. Increasing state control, border conflicts and tensions over territorial claims manifest in the wake of these developments, complicating the geopolitical stakes for Himalayan nations and those with interests in the region. Meanwhile, communities experience, imagine and navigate change in diverse ways over time, giving rise to multifaceted cultural, artistic and activist expressions.

HSC6 aims to interrogate and upend popular discourses of apocalypse and crisis, and the linear temporalities in which they are embedded. The conference will attend to everyday lives, memories and future imaginaries in the Anthropocene across wide ranging themes, from ethnic politics and insurgencies, to literature, arts and religion. We strive, in particular, to foreground how Indigenous, Dalit and other historically marginalized communities bear witness, sustain hope and take action in the present. Envisioning alternative understandings and trajectories of environmental, social and political change, the conference will engage multidisciplinary perspectives of struggle and solidarity in the making of shared Himalayan futures.

We are excited to invite scholars of Himalayan Studies, development and planning practitioners, artists as well as activists to submit proposals for panels, roundtable discussions and individual papers (see below for further information).

Potential topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • Politics, practices and institutions of climate change governance
  • Indigenous ecopolitics and ontological frictions
  • Utopian imaginaries in arts and literature
  • Religious explorations of time and change
  • Earthquakes and other natural disasters
  • Affective ecologies and multispecies habitats
  • Decolonization and movements for environmental justice
  • Infrastructure investment, resource extraction and uneven development
  • Borders, militarization and securitization
  • Health, race/ethnicity and the environment
  • Cities, architecture and urban planning
  • Trade, migration and transnationalism
  • Activist movements, practices and modes of expression
  • Politics of knowledge production about the Himalayas

While adherence to the conference theme is not mandatory for acceptance, we especially welcome proposals drawing connection to Himalayan futures.

Submission Process

We are currently planning to hold the conference in-person, and encourage participants to travel to Toronto. We recognize, however, that visa requirements and processing times (see Important Travel Information), alongside rising travel costs and health concerns, may make it difficult or impossible for some to attend the conference in person. We will make every effort to accommodate remote participation for those who are unable to travel or gain entry to Canada in the form of hybrid panel sessions and a reduced conference fee.

Panel proposals:

Panels feature 3-4 papers in 90-minute sessions. Panels can encompass more than one session. They may be organized by multiple conveners, ideally from different institutions, and may also include a discussant. All panels must have a chair to officiate the proceedings and must include at least one person who is presenting in-person.

In your proposal, please include the panel title and abstract, as well as the names of all authors and their institutional affiliations and emails. If you are submitting a proposal for a hybrid panel session, please indicate which papers will be presented in person and which will be presented remotely. Regardless of the mode of participation, all panel papers must  include an abstract.

Note: To minimize technical difficulties, all papers presented remotely will need to be pre-recorded and sent to the conference organizers ahead of time. Remote presenters are encouraged to participate in real time Q&A and discussion.

Roundtable discussions:

Roundtables comprise a group of scholars discussing issues related to the conference theme. While a roundtable can include a short (5-10 minutes) introductory presentation, the main idea is to create a lively debate and engage with the audience.

In your proposal, please include the names of all contributors and their institutional affiliations and emails, as well as the roundtable title and abstract. We advise against organizing roundtable discussions with remote participants.

Individual papers:

You may also submit a proposal for an individual paper. The organizing committee will group accepted individual papers together to form panels cohering around topics related to the conference theme. We will also assign a chair to these panels.

In your proposal, please include your name, institutional affiliation and email as well as the presentation title and abstract. Make sure to indicate if you anticipate presenting in-person or remotely.

Note: To minimize technical difficulties, all papers presented remotely will need to be pre-recorded and sent to the conference organizers ahead of time. Remote presenters are encouraged to participate in real time Q&A and discussion.

You can organize and speak in more than one panel or roundtable. Each abstract should not exceed 250 words. Please email your complete proposal to conference@anhs-himalaya.org before the extended deadline for submissions on April 30, 2022. Notifications of acceptance will be sent mid to late May, 2022.

Please note that you must be an active member of ANHS to be eligible to participate at HSC6. If you are not already a member of ANHS, please visit the ANHS Homepage to register for membership and learn more about the conference.

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