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Dannah Dennis

Dannah Dennis
Dannah Dennis

Visiting Assistant Professor of Anthropology

Kirner-Johnson 243

Dannah Dennis is a cultural and political anthropologist examining changing narratives of national identity in the midst of Nepal’s constitutional transition to secularism and federalism. 

She has published articles on the gendered and regional exclusions that shape Nepali citizenship law and on the politics of road-building and infrastructure in Kathmandu. Dennis also published a piece of ethnographic fiction exploring the obligations of care in Nepali families shaped by transnational migration.

Currently Dennis is working on an article that’s provisionally titled “‘Alexa, Was Buddha Born in Nepal?’ Digital Diaspora, Microcelebrity, and the Claim to Buddha’s Birthplace on YouTube.” 

She received her doctorate in anthropology from the University of Virginia in 2017, and worked as a teaching fellow at New York University Shanghai.

Recent Courses Taught

Principles of Social and Cultural Anthropology
Anthropology of China

Research Interests

Nepal; South Asia; politics; citizenship; secularism; nationalism; gender; education; urban ethnography; new media; infrastructure; bureaucracy; disaster; migration

Select Publications

  • “Citizenship in the Name of the Mother: Nationalism, Social Exclusion, and Gender in Contemporary Nepal.” Co-authored with Barbara Grossman-­Thompson. positions: asia critique 25(4): 795-820, 2017
  • “On the Road to Nowhere: Stalled Politics and Urban Infrastructure in Kathmandu.” Himalaya 37(1): 98-106, 2017.
  • “Fifty-Three Kilos.” Anthropology and Humanism 41(2): 206-211, 2016.

Professional Affiliations

American Anthropological Association
Association for Feminist Anthropology
Association for Nepal and Himalayan Studies
Association for Political and Legal Anthropology 

Appointed to the Faculty: 2019

Educational Background

Ph.D., University of Virginia
M.A., Biola University
B.A., University of Baltimore
A.A., Harford Community College

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