UBC Himalaya Program


One of TRAS’s cherished local partners here in Vancouver, the UBC Himalaya Program, is about to begin a new academic year! Each year the program organizes a number of public events that focus on our shared interests in the Himalayan region.

Our connection to the UBC Himalaya Program is through Dr. Sara Shneiderman and Dr. Mark Turin, both members of the program’s steering committee. They have been key contacts for us – it’s through Sara and Mark that TRAS helped SFSS to rebuild 200 toilets in Dolakha following the 2015 earthquakes. They have also given public talks for TRAS, filled with valuable information and treasured insight from their many years of work in the Himalayas.


Dr. Sara Shneiderman’s research focuses on the relationships between political discourse, ritual action, and cross-border mobility in producing ethnic identities and shaping social transformation. She is currently involved in a number of projects that examine these aspects in the Himalayan region. Dr. Shneiderman began working in Nepal back in the late 1990s and has been continually involved since then.


Dr. Mark Turin is both an anthropologist and linguist and has studied language and cultural practices in the Himalayas since 1992. He has worked extensively in both preserving and documenting endangered oral literatures before they disappear without record. In eastern Nepal, and the Darjeeling district of India, Dr. Turin has worked hard at preserving and documenting the Thangmi language.


On September 24, the Himalaya Program will be holding an opening reception for a photo exhibit by Saori Ogura, a PhD student at UBC Forestry: “Life with the Forest in Sikkim.” The reception will be held from 5:00 – 7:00PM in Room 1221, in the Forest Sciences Centre, with the exhibit on show in the adjoining Atrium. You can find more information about the opening reception here.


For the UBC Himalaya’s complete “Welcome Back” email, see here. Please note that the courses described are primarily for UBC students. (It’s possible for non-UBC students to apply to take these courses – see Non-Degree Studies – but the deadlines were back in mid-June.)