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Nivedita Nath

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Email    niveditanath@g.ucla.edu
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My work examines historical intersections between caste exclusion, colonialism, and cultural affinities towards landscapes.

Entitled, Race, Caste, and Modern Imaginaries of the Himalayas, my doctoral project seeks to reassess understandings of the cultural and spatial implications of colonial encounter. I argue that the body of the modern traveler in the Central Himalayas was increasingly marked by hierarchies of caste, race, and gender, as travel became tied to novel regimes of property as well as new norms of propriety.

Focusing on specific groups of travelers and genres of writing, I raise further questions in each of my dissertation chapters. How do we situate the ‘native’ intermediary in our histories of colonialism? What are the distinctive ways in which caste inflects imaginations of ‘nature’ and the mountains in modern India? What role did Hindu nationalists play in building a discourse about the Central Himalayas as an Indian ‘holy land’? By raising these questions, my research seeks to demonstrate the inextricability of ecological and cultural issues.

Courses taught: 'From Colonialism to the Call for Climate Justice', 'History and the Struggle for India's Futures' 

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Field of Study

South and Southeast Asia