Home Institution

Barnard College

Publication Date

Spring 2020

Program Name

Nepal: Development, Gender, and Social Change in the Himalaya


The last 20 years in Nepal has seen drastic changes in the rights and recognition of Gender and Sexual Minorites. Little research has been done on GSM in Nepal and the majority of this research focuses solely on discrimination faced by GSM using western identity terms and categories. These identity terms conflict with a Nepal specific understand of self. Even fewer research has been done on academic discourse on GSM in Nepal. There is a need to understand how academics talk about Nepal’s GSM and how this has changed over time. Terms and their respective constructed identities say a lot about the actors and goals of academic research and its ability to sculpt language and lives.

In this research I will look at terms used for GSM in Nepal over the last twenty years and how these terms and subjects have changed over time. I will use theories of essentialism to explore how categories and the meanings behind them change over time. I will then contrast academic understanding of identity with on the ground experiences and identities of GSM in Nepal.


Asian Studies | Gender and Sexuality | History of Gender | Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies | Liberal Studies | South and Southeast Asian Languages and Societies


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