Conference Talks

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  • “The origins of ‘vajra dance’ revisited” at the 16th IATS Seminar, Charles University Prague. 08.07.2022.
  • “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


  • “Political borders and the transformations of Kirat Rai mythology”, ECSAS Conference 2020 rescheduled to 2021 due to Coronavirus. (Paper with Alban von Stockhausen). 28.07.2021
  • “Feldforschung zu lokalen Traditionen bei den Dumi Rai in Ost-Nepal”, Institut of Social Anthropology, Uiversity of Bern, Switzerland. 12.05.2021 (invited)


  • “Tantric Buddhist dances of the Himalayas and Tibetosphere in comparison”, 15th IATS Seminar, July 08 2019, INALCO, Paris.


  • “Grappling with ‘embodiment’ – or why I find it difficult to dance with Thomas Csordas in Eastern Nepal”. Joint Research Colloquium Bern – Zürich, November 29 2018, Department of Social Anthropology and Cultural Studies, University of Zürich.
  • “Lines of Identity: The Broken and the Continuous Line in the Handloom Weaving of the Nagas of Northeast India”. Conférence “Penser la ligne briseé”, Octobre 12 2018, Musée d’art et d’histoire de Saint-Denis, Paris.
  • “How a new religion is danced into existence – the case of Kirat religion in Nepal“. 16th Annual Conference of the European Association for the Study of Religions (EASR): Multiple Religious Identities – Individuals, Communities, Traditions, 17-21 June 2018, University of Bern, Switzerland.
  • “Embodiment and the Intangible: Ritual dance among the Rai of Eastern Nepal”. Central Asian Seminar, Institute for Asian and African Studies, Humboldt University Berlin, Germany. 16.01.2018 (invited)


  • “The visible invisible: Mimetic manifestations of the spirits in ‘shamanic’ dance movements among the Dumi Rai of Eastern Nepal”. Symposium “Encounters with the Invisible: Revisiting Possession in the Himalayas in its Material and Narrative Aspects”, Marçay, France. 20.12.2017 (invited)
  • Collective ritual dance and the claim on territory in Eastern Nepal“. Research Colloquium ‘Central Asian Studies in Switzerland’, Department for the Science of Religion, Universities of Bern and Department of Social Anthropology and Cultural Studies, University of Zürich, Bern. 07.12.2017 (invited)
  • “Local belonging, ethnic identity and the material ontology of the otherworld in Eastern Nepal”. ISARS Conference “Expanding Boundaries: Ethnicity, Materiality and Spirituality”. Vietnam Museum of Ethnology, Hanoi. 03.12.2017.
  • “Lokale Konzepte von religiöser Imagination und Materialität am Beispiel der Rai in Ostnepal”. DVRW-Tagung, University of Marburg. 14.09.2017
  • “The weaver and the hunter: An attempt in comparative Himalayan mythology and cultural practice”. Workshop “Kiranti – Language and culture in comparative perspective”, CIRDIS / ISTB, University of Vienna. 12.05.2017 (invited)
  • “Textile Ethnographie”. Lecture and teaching, University Mozarteum Salzburg (appointment procedure for a professorship in textile design). 03.04.2017
  • “‘Chamdam’ as a Feast of Merit: Comparing Status Rituals of the Dumi Rai of Eastern Nepal and the Ao Naga of Northeast India”.  3rd Workshop of the International Consortium for Eastern Himalayan Ethnolinguistic Prehistory (ICEHEP), LaTrobe University, Melbourne, Australia. (Paper with Alban von Stockhausen) 10.02.2017 (invited)


  • “Research on the sakela dance among the Rai”. Kirat Rai Academic Council, Kathmandu, Nepal. 05.08.2016
  • “Ten Years of Naga Textile Transformations” (fine art prints of drawings of Naga Textiles) at the conference “Footprints and futures: the time of anthropology” (Association of Social Anthropologists, UK), at the University of Durham in the Exhibition “Drawing the Anthropological Imagination” curated by Elizabeth A. Hodson, with drawing by Arthur Bernard Deacon, Carol Hendrickson, Tim Ingold, Marion Wettstein, Rudi Colloredo-Mansfeld, Manuel João Ramos, Robert Layton, Michael Taussig, and Alfred Gell. 04.-07.07.2016
  • “The flirting fly: embodied emotions in the sakela performance of the Rai in Eastern Nepal”. Nepal Symposium (Johanna Buss). Vienna University, Austria. 07.05.2016 (invited)


  • “Dancing in the Hills: A Comparative View on the ‘Renaissance’ of ‘Folk-Traditions’ in the Eastern Himalayas”. Forth International SEECHAC Colloquium “Religious Revivals and Artistic Renaissance in Central Asia and the Himalayan Region – Past and Present”, Heidelberg. 16.11.2015
  • October 2015: “Mobile ritual space: Collective ritual dance and temporary appropriation of space in a shamanic local society of Eastern Nepal”. ISARS Conference “Sacred Landscapes and Conflict Transformation: History, Space, Place and Power in Shamanism”, Delphi. 12.10.2015
  • “‘Sakela’: Verkörperung und Leibhaftigkeit lokaler Mythen in den rituellen Tänzen Ostnepals”. Eranos Tagung, Ascona. 23.08.2015 (invited)
  • Co-Convenor (with Jasmin Kashanipour) of the Workshop “Movement as knowledge and practice” at the 10th Vienna Anthropology Days. 25.04.2015


  • YouTube and the Vogue of Indigenous Folkdance: The Case of the Sakela Dance of the Rai in Nepal and their Diasporas”. Workshop “‘Tribes’ on Screen – Mediatizing South Asian ‘Indigeneity'”. (Convenors: Erik de Maaker, Leiden University, and Markus Schleiter, Goethe University in Frankfurt) Held at the Ethnographic Museum, University of Zurich. 22.007.2014
  • “‘Sakela is our national dance’: the enactment of identity-roles in folk dance performances of the Rai in Nepal”, Panel “Public displays of ethnic identity in Nepal” (Panel Org.: Marion Wettstein, Martin Gaenszle und Alban von Stockhausen), 23. ECSAS Konferenz, Zürich. 26.07.2014
  • “Dolokumma: Layers of cultural knowledge and practice in the sakela performance of the Dumi Rai”, WorkshopKiranti Culture in Contemporary Nepal” (Martin Gaenszle, Alban von Stockhausen, Marion Wettstein). Vienna University, Austria. 05.04.2014 (invited)


  • “The appropriation of ritual landscape and the formation of Rai ethnic identity in Nepal”, Conference “Ethnicity and Religion” (Cameron David Warner). Aarhus University, Denmark. (Paper with Alban von Stockhausen and Martin Gaenszle). 27.09. 2013 (invited)
  • “Between the Claims of Local Gods and Global Lifestyles: A case Study of a Shamans Personal Struggle in Eastern Nepal”, Panel “Dealing with Violence, Conflict, Repression and Suffering in Shamanism” (Diana Riboli and Davide Torri), at the “11th Conference of the International Society for Shamanistic Research”. Guizhou Normal College, Guiyang, China. (Paper with Alban von Stockhausen). 07.09.2013
  • “The pestle-­stone bride: Food in the myths and in everyday life of the Rai of Eastern Nepal”, Panel “Impact of food habits on cultural pattern” (Ajay Kumar Jha) at the IUAES Conference, Manchester University. 08.08.2013
  • “Dancing with the ancestors: Myth and deep time genealogy in the sakela dance among the Rai of Eastern Nepal”, Panel “Dance, sociality and the transmission of embodied knowledge” (Andree Grau and Giorgiana Gore) at the IUAES Conference, Manchester University. 06.08.2013
  • “Bodies and Things in Transformation: Manifestations of shifting identities in the physical and performative world of the Nagas” at the Conference “Negotiating Ethnicity: Politics and Display of Cultural Identities in Northeast India” (Bianca Son, Jürgen Schöpf, Mélanie Vandenhelsken, and Shahnaz Kimi Leblhuber), Austrian Academy of Sciences, Initiativkolleg (Doctoral School) “Cultural Transfers and Cross-­Contacts in the Himalayan Borderlands”, Department of South Asian, Tibetan and Buddhist Studies, University of Vienna. 04.07.2013 (invited)
  • “The Shamanic Pilgrimage Site of Tuwachung Hill: Re-­Inventing and Globalizing Sacred Space among the Rai of Eastern Nepal” at the “Symposium on Sacred Topography in the Himalayas”, Initiativkolleg “Cultural Transfers and Cross-­Contacts in the Himalayan Borderlands” (Klaus-­Dieter Mathes), Department of South Asian, Tibetan and Buddhist Studies, University of Vienna. (Paper with Alban von Stockhausen). 24.05.2013 (invited)


  • “Naga Textilien: Vom Dorfplatz auf den Laufsteg”, Museum für Völkerkunde Wien. 22.03.2012 (invited)
  • “From social status to ethnic identity and beyond: The ethnic fashion scene in Nagaland”, ASA12 Conference (Arts & Aesthetics in a Globalising World), JNU New Delhi. 04.04.2012.
  • “Dancing who we are: The Embodiment of Rai Ethnic Identity in Sakela Performance”, Annual Kathmandu Conference on Nepal and the Himalaya. The Association for Nepal and Himalayan Studies, Britain-Nepal Academic Council and Social Science Baha (Co-Organisation of the Panel: Contemporary Studies on Ritual Performance and Ethnic Identity among the Rai of Eastern Nepal). 21.07.2012
  • “The last Noble Savages: Contemporary Western Representation and Perception of the Nagas of Northeast India”, The Indian Phantasm Conference, University of Oslo, Museum of Cultural History. 11.12.2012 (invited)


  • “Mode aus Nagaland: Transformationen traditioneller Textilien”, Museum der Kulturen Basel. 16.01.2009 (invited)


  • “How to represent the Naga in Europe?” , Asian Borderlands Research Network conference: ‘Northeast India and its Transnational Neighbourhood’, Guwahati, Assam, India (paper with Alban von Stockhausen). 17.01.2008
  • “The Role of Migration Stories in the Construction of a Collective Naga Identity”, Conference Origins and Migrations in the Tibeto-Burman Region, Humboldt University of Berlin. 25.05.2008 (invited)
  • “Die Schwanzfeder des Nashornvogels: Materielle Kultur, orale Traditionen und Identität bei den Naga Nordostindiens”, Völkerkundemuseum der Universität Zürich. 1.10.2008
  • “Textile Welten bei den Ao Naga: Soziale Struktur und Status im Stoff”, Museum der Kulturen Basel. 15.10.2008 (invited)


  • “‘modified traditional’: Die Textilien der Naga im Spannungsfeld lokaler Vorstellungen von Tradition und Moderne”, 24. Deutscher Orientalistentag, Freiburg i. B. 24.09.2007


  • “Ethnographic Research in European Universities and the Reception of Culture”, Jotsoma Science College, Nagaland, India (with Alban von Stockhausen). 21.9.2004
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