Public Intimacy and Mediation in Kathmandu
Publication Year: 2014
Published by: University of California Press
Title Page, Copyright Page
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List of Illustrations
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Despite the solitude, writing a book is truly a collective enterprise. Without the intellectual and emotional support of family, close friends, colleagues, students, research assistants, editors, and anonymous reviewers, most books—and I know this book—would not have come to fruition...
Author’s Note on Transliteration and Pseudonyms
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Introduction: Public Intimacy and Voicing Subjects in Kathmandu
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In the late monsoon month of September 1989, during my first visit to Nepal, I was given a tour of Kathmandu by my Nepali friend Raj Gopal on the back of his motorcycle. During our first meeting earlier that morning, inside his office, he told me that Nepal was in a critical state. People were...
1. Intimate Callings and Voices of Reform: Law, Property, and Familial Love
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On a spring afternoon in 1998, I witnessed a small event in Nepal that was a common sight at the time. Several young women, dressed in saris and sandals, were standing at the central Palace Square of Patan (a city adjacent to Kathmandu). Behind them lay a white sheet draped across the palace...
2. Seeing Face and Hearing Voice: Tactile Vision and Signs of Presence
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In the course of fieldwork, small, passing comments will occasionally strike the ethnographer as unusual, unexpected, or not entirely comprehensible. More oft en than not, such offhand remarks—words that, while striking or odd, seem to lie outside one’s field of study—are noted, and if they...
3. Making Waves: The Social and Political Context of FM Radio
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The jana āndolan (People’s Movement) of 1990 can be aptly called a revolution of the voice. As it unfolded, personal subjectivities and landscapes of political discourse were remade. This reorientation of the political and intimate voice in Nepali public life has been closely associated with the...
4. Mero Kathā, Mero Gīt: Affective Publics, Public Intimacy, and Voiced Writing
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Beginning in the spring of 1997, every Thursday at noon, college students, factory workers, taxi drivers, bronze casters, and housewives in the Kathmandu Valley would turn on their FM radio and listen to Kalyan Gautum’s soothing voice. Among the most popular programs on FM radio...
5. Diasporic Voices: Sounds of the Diaspora in Kathmandu
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Technologies of the voice alleviate and aggravate Nepali dreams of contact across great distances. Fantasies of escaping the Maoist civil war and of earning enough money to support a middle-class life in Nepal are constantly belied by stories about the difficult and sometimes outright...
Epilogue: Royal Victims, Voicing Subjects
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Roughly a decade after the first jana āndolan (People’s Movement), King Bir Birendra Bikram Shah Dev, Queen Aishwarya, and their entire immediate family were murdered. The massacre occurred on the evening of Friday June 1, 2001, during a family dinner party at the royal palace in the...
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Page Count: 306
Publication Year: 2014