Yale Himalaya Initiative

environment | livelihood | culture

About Us

The Yale Himalaya Initiative brings together faculty, students, and professionals across the University whose work focuses on the Himalayan regions of Nepal, India, Bhutan, Pakistan, and China, as well as the Tibetan cultural areas that traverse the borders of all those states. We engage with the Himalaya as a significant transnational space for research and practice. Its location at the edges of the traditional area studies units of South, East, and Southeast Asia demands creative academic approaches. We therefore aim to create the first comprehensive, interdisciplinary University-led initiative in North America that explores the Himalaya as a transregional whole, while recognizing its ecological, social, and political diversity.

Focusing broadly on the themes of environment, livelihoods, and culture, we support the development of teaching and scholarship on topics related to the Himalayan region by drawing upon the combined intellectual resources of members across the Yale community. We encourage the widest possible interdisciplinary participation, in collaboration with scholars, practitioners, and communities in the Himalayan region itself. The Yale Himalaya Initiative will develop innovative research agendas and methodologies that address historical and contemporary issues of local, regional, and global relevance.

The Initiative’s scope spans the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and professional disciplines. It draws upon the expertise of faculty members in departments of the Arts and Sciences (Anthropology, History, History of Art, Religious Studies), Yale’s professional schools (Forestry and Environmental Studies, Law, Management, Medical), and other University centers including the MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies, and the Global Health Initiative of the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs. The Initiative builds upon existing research projects and strong disciplinary networks to promote broader collaborative efforts at Yale, while also developing lasting partnerships with research institutions, government agencies and NGOs throughout the region.

Mark Turin is Program Director of the Yale Himalaya Initiative.