Marion Wettstein is an anthropologist, ethnographer, scientist of religion and curator with a comparative approach to religious, performative, and material practices in between Asia and Europe. In her current research project ‘Queer Heritage-making in times of political turmoil: A transcultural approach’, she studies vernacular queer approaches to cultural heritage and local traditions in Nepal, together with her project partners at the Heidelberg Centre for Transcultural Studies (HCTS) in the framework of the ‘Flagship Initiative Transforming Cultural Heritage’ at Heidelberg University. With her regional focus on the extended eastern Himalayas, she completed her dissertation on textile traditions in Northeast India at the University of Zurich. In a postdoc research project at the University of Vienna, she examined ritual dance and performative traditions among the Rai of Eastern Nepal, and she has worked in the field of material religion at the University of Bern.
Her thematic interests, which also feed into teaching, include the anthropology of religions and religious studies; material religion; ritual studies; mythology, oral traditions and their scripturalisation; critical heritage studies; textile design, material culture, craft, dress and fashion theory; the anthropology of dance, theatre, performance, and embodiment; visual anthropology and ethnographic drawing; museum anthropology; local concepts of the person and cosmology; transfer of knowledge and the relation between science and art; gender, queer, and sexuality studies; trans-local and transcultural relations, and diaspora dynamics. Major publications include “Naga Textiles: Design, Technique, Meaning and Effect of a Local Craft Tradition in Northeast India” (2014) and “Naga Identities: Changing local cultures in Northeast India” (2008).
“The origins of ‘vajra dance’ revisited” at the 16th IATS Seminar in Prague, July 2022.
“Chamdam status rituals among the Dumi Rai of Eastern Nepal”. Research colloquium, Institute for the Science of Religion, University of Bern, 01.04.2022. See Lecture abstract