Ph.D., Anthropology and History, University of Michigan, 2001
M.A., Anthropology, University of Michigan, 1999
B.A., Anthropology, Cognate University, 1991 (with honors)

CAS Speaker Bureau Topic(s)

Tibet; Nepal; Tibetan refugees; colonialism and empire; history and memory; power and politics; refugees and citizenship; nationalism; senses of belonging; gender; war; and anthropology as theoretical storytelling

Regional and Thematic Interests

South Asia


I am a cultural anthropologist and historian specializing in contemporary Tibet. My research focuses on issues of colonialism and empire, history and memory, power and politics, refugees and citizenship, nationalism, senses of belonging, gender, war, and anthropology as theoretical storytelling. Since 1994, I have conducted research in Tibetan refugee communities in India and Nepal on the history and politics of the guerilla army Chushi Gangdrug, culminating in my book Arrested Histories: Tibet, the CIA, and Histories of a Forgotten War (Duke University Press, 2010). Thinking of 20th-21st century Tibetan histories and experiences as imperial in a global sense is a key part of my work in relation to the CIA, British India, and the People's Republic of China. My work on Tibet as “out-of-bounds” empire can be found in Imperial Formations, an SAR volume I co-edited with Ann Stoler and Peter Perdue. Currently, I am working on two new projects: a Wenner-Gren funded project with John Collins on “Ethnographies of U.S. Empire,” and a new solo research project with Tibetans in India, Nepal, New York City, and Toronto titled “Refugee Citizenship: Tibetan Practices of Political Subjectivity in Diaspora.”