James Fisher 2017 Award Winners


Congratulations to the First Winners of the 2017 James Fisher Prize!


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


Last year, several highly competitive submissions led the awards committee to nominate a shared prize award. The prize winners are Lauren Leve (Religious Studies, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill) and Sara Shneiderman (Anthropology, University of British Columbia) with honorable mention going to Georgina Drew (Anthropology and Development Studies, University of Adelaide). .


Dr. Leve’s book, The Buddhist Art of Living in Nepal: Ethical Practice and Religious Reform (Routledge, 2016), chronicles how Theravada Buddhism has grown to have a significant presence in Nepal, especially among Newar communities of Kathmandu. Besides being a pleasure to read, the book’s significance lies in its ethnographic treatment of families adopting religious tenets which help them adjust to the contemporary changes of late modernity and neoliberal globalization.


Dr. Shneiderman’s book, Rituals of Ethnicity: Thangmi Identities Between Nepal and India (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2015), is a study of mobility and ritual action. Through an ethnography of the Thangmi, a community who migrate between Himalayan border zones of Nepal, India, and the Tibetan Autonomous Region of China, the book explores the maintenance of ethnicity in modern Thangmi communities. Set in a time of political conflict in Nepal and separatist movements in India, the book chronicles how democracy, communism, development, and indigeneity have all impacted Thangmi identity over time.


Dr. Drew’s book, River Dialogues: Hindu Faith and the Political Ecology of Dams on the Sacred Ganga (University of Arizona Press, 2017) uses ethnographic methods of journalistic realism to explore the ongoing debate over the Ganga river’s natural and constructed future. A remarkable book, River Dialogues examines how women in particular protest the building of hydroelectric dams on the sacred river and the private industries and government efforts to build them in Uttarakhand, an officially designated conservation zone.


Please join us at the 2018 Annual South Asian Conference in Madison where the awards will be recognized at the ANHS Annual Meeting!


May 1, 2018 Deadline: For those interested in nominating their own or a colleague’s book, see the announcement on the ANHS website and ANHS Facebook page. If you have a question about a possible submission, please contact Geoff Childs (gchilds@wustl.edu).

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.