A Summer of Family and Research

Dr. Michael shared a wealth of information about his current research projects as well the highlights from his summer. He is, at present, working on a book length manuscript that should be published by Anthem Press in London. He explained this has been a lengthy process, but that he is being aided by a Natalie Burack, a Smith scholar intern. When asked to explain, he stated that “the book is basically about the territorial disputes surrounding the Anglo-Gorkha War that involved the English East India Company and the Himalayan state of Gorkha (present day Nepal). The war, which lasted two years, concluded in 1816 with the territorial demarcation of the present India-Nepal boundary. Dr. Michael hopes to explore questions of spatiality, state formation, and the cartographic history and provide another perspective from which to approach the war. He argues the territorial disputes surrounding the war actually encoded contrasting visions about the geography of the state. Another project that he is gathering materials pertains to the history of Western Nepal. Dr. Michael also undertook a civil rights tour that took him to the deep south. The trip gave him opportunity to understand race relations and the Civil Rights Movement in the United States. In addition to his he attended a diversity workshop at the University of California at Los Angeles and traveled to South Asia to conduct research and visit family. Finally, Dr. Michael recounted his first ever family reunion (from his wife Shanti’s side) when a large multicultural family from India, Nepal, and Switzerland gathered in Tennessee. During the family reunion, Dr. Michael explained that there had been a professional photographer, family honors bestowed, and even a soccer game amongst family members. Towards the end of summer he spent considerable time working on diversity matters that required his attention.

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