2018 Senior Fellowship Award Winner

The Association for Nepal and Himalayan Studies is pleased to announce the 2018 Senior Fellowship award winner, Dr. Stacy Leigh Pigg.

Dr. Pigg is a Professor of Anthropology at Simon Fraser University.

Project Title: Visualizing Bikas through a Graphic Narrative: “Batogato”—A collaborative research story about Himalayan lives & dreams, and road projects that promise to change them

Abstract: This research-creation project develops a graphic novel (a book that tells a story via drawings and text) representing local perspectives on road construction in remote districts of Nepal. The project is an experiment in genre/form for research reporting and public scholarship. The graphic narrative format offers an especially powerful way of telling a story through many voices and from multiple perspectives. A graphic narrative can thus give voice to underrepresented perspectives as well as mediate differing understandings among urban-based planners/policy makers, international donors, regional leaders, and local communities. The format can also convey experiences beyond local and national circumstances to increase international understanding of the Himalayan regional issues of mobility and rural development.

Roads are an important symbol of “development” in Nepal, as well as a crucial infrastructure enabling the movement of people, agriculture products, and commercial goods. Roads alter social experiences of remoteness, inclusion/exclusion, and opportunity. They are thus also deeply political projects. Real stories of how and where roads get built show how diverse motives, on the part of many actors, converge to determine which roads get built. They also beg the question: Who benefits from a road? The storyline juxtaposes descriptions of the infrastructure development process with real stories from people and about places along one particular road. Dr. Stacy Leigh Pigg spearheads the graphic narrative project, in a unique collaboration with Nepal-based artists and the researchers brought together through a multi-year research project on roads and the state (led by Katharine Rankin and Sara Shneiderman).

Contact Info

Association for Nepal and Himalayan Studies
c/o John Metz, Treasurer
1586 Rockhurst Lane
Cincinnati, OH 45255-2637

ANHS Kathmandu Research Center
54 Kantishree Marg, Baluwatar
Kathmandu, Nepal.