2019 James Fisher Prize Winners

Congratulations to the Winners of the 2018 James Fisher Book Prize!


In honor of the scholarly contributions of Dr. James Fisher to scholarship in the region, ANHS proudly announces the winners of the James Fisher Prize for First Books on the Himalayan Region. The James Fisher Prize for First Books on the Himalayan Region honors books which contribute an innovative and lucid written account of Himalayan studies research.


With a dozen highly competitive submissions, the awards committee is proud to announce the James Fisher Prize to Bérénice Guyot-Réchard of King’s College, London for her remarkable book, Shadow States: India, China and the Himalayas, 1910-1962(Cambridge, 2017). In addition, the Prize Committee awards Honorable Mention to Anne  Mocko of Concordia College, Moorhead, Minnesota, for her book, Demoting Vishnu: Ritual, Politics, and the Unraveling of Nepal’s Hindu Monarchy (Oxford, 2016).


Dr. Guyot-Réchard’s book, Shadow States, chronicles how India and China have entertained a difficult and tenuous relationship in their state-making endeavors in the Himalayan borderland. Dr. Guyot-Réchard documents the political posturing along the Arunanchal borders using not only multifarous historical documents, but also oral history interviews with local Tani and other communities. Located at the trijunction of Chinese Tibet, Bhutan, and India, Shadow States is a sobering reminder of the competitive dimension of borderland state-making and the role of local residents in shaping politics. That this book is so lucidly written, compassionate, and insightful is a testament the exceptional quality of our next generation of Himalayan scholars.



Dr. Mocko’s book, Demoting Vishnu, is a study of Nepal’s political shift from monarchy to republic through changes in royal public rituals. Based on extensive interviews and ethnographic fieldwork, Demoting Vishnucontends that usurping religious authority by interim administrations during Indra Jatra and other events served to legitimize new political authority in the nascent Republic of Nepal. While academics generally observe and record the more visible political demonstrations, constitutional legislative actions, or other political events, Dr. Mocko opens a whole new ritual landscape for readers to appreciate with keen insight and a lean yet evocative writing style.


May 1, 2019 Deadline for the 2019 James Fisher Book Prize: For those interested in submitting their own or a colleague’s book for consideration, see the announcement on the ANHS website https://anhs-himalaya.org/anhsfunding/.Books under consideration for the 2019 Fisher Book Prize will have been published in the past two years (2017 to present). Books should be an author’s first academic book, be single or co-authored, non-fiction, and written in English. The award recipient receives a $250 prize from ANHS with the book archived at the ANHS library in Kathmandu, Nepal.


Send three copies of books to:

K. Rankin, Fisher Book Prize Committee Chairperson

Dept. of Geography and Planning

University of Toronto

100 St. George St.

Toronto ON M5S 3G3 CANADA


Contact Katherine Rankin, k.rankin@utoronto.ca, with any queries.


Please join us at the 2019 Annual South Asian Conference in Madison where the 2018 awardees will be formally recognized at the ANHS Annual Meeting.




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.