Migration, Gender, and Nation in Nepali Dohori Performance


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships




This research examines Nepali migrants’ construction of gendered national identity through language and music. Specifically, it concentrates on dohori song, a genre of improvised duets between men and women. In dohori, love, migration, and social issues are addressed through humorous lyrical play. Based on rural practices, dohori surged in commercial popularity during the recent conflict, and is increasingly represented in terms of national heritage. Using ethnographic and ethnomusicological methods in multiple sites—urban Kathmandu, migrants’ rural villages, and the routes in between—this project seeks to understand the expressive means by which Nepali migrants negotiate the changes in their lives, and the changing ideas of gender and nation emergent in dohori's musical discourse.