Dr Ina Zharkevich


Departmental Lecturer

Junior Research Fellow, Wolfson College

I have conducted anthropological research in Nepal since 2008. My main research interests lie at the intersection of the anthropology of war and violence, revolutionary movements and the anthropology of migration, with a focus on transnational families, kinship and relatedness in transnational family networks, and the economies of waiting and hope under late capitalism.

Contact: ina.zharkevich@anthro.ox.ac.uk

My doctoral research (DPhil Development Studies, 2014, University of Oxford) explored processes of social change and norm-remaking during the Maoist civil war in Nepal (1996-2006). Drawing on long-term fieldwork with people who were located at the epicentre of the conflict, including both ardent Maoist supporters and ‘reluctant rebels’, I explored how a remote Himalayan village was forged as the centre of the Maoist rebellion, how its inhabitants coped with the situation of war and the Maoist regime of governance, and how they maintained ordinary life amidst the war. The monograph based on this research, Maoist People’s War and the Revolution of Everyday Life in mid-Western Nepal, is currently in press.

As part of the Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship (2015-2018), ‘Where there are no men’: Migration, Kinship, Gender and Generation in Nepal’, I explored the gendered and generational nature of migration in Nepal, and the circulation of money in transnational family networks as a way to understand changes in kinship and relatedness. In the process of my fieldwork, I have become increasingly interested in the phenomenon of debt-driven migration, ‘waithood’ as a predicament soon-to-be migrants are subjected to, and the structural violence of migration in the conditions of neoliberalism.

I have recently started developing an interest in the anthropology of religion through my work on ‘reluctant shamans’ - young people who are intent on going abroad rather than being initiated into shamanism, and in the ways in which ‘traditional’ religious practices in Nepal, such as shamanism and spirit possession, intersect with and are often sidelined by a wave of new religious movements, ranging from modernist Hindu bhakti (devotional) movements to recently arrived Christian churches.


forthcoming 'Money and Blood: Remittances as a Substance of Relatedness in Transnational Families in Nepal', American Anthropologist

2019 Maoist People's War and the Revolution of Everyday Life in Nepal. Cambridge University Press. 

2017 ''Rules that Apply in Times of Crisis': Time, Agency, and Norm-Remaking during Nepal's People's War', Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, early online publication. 

2016 ‘When Gods Return to their Homeland in the Himalayas’: Maoism, Religion andChange in the Model Village of Thabang, mid-Western Nepal’, in D. Gellner, S. Hauser and C. Letizia (eds) Religion, Secularism and Ethnicity in Contemporary Nepal. Delhi: Oxford University Press India.

(with Jo Boyden, forthcoming) ‘The Impact of Development on Children’, in International  Encyclopaedia of Anthropology (ed. by Paul Sillitoe )

2015 ‘De-mythologizing the ‘’Village of Resistance’: How Rebellious were the Peasants in the Maoist base area of Nepal? Dialectical Anthropology, 39 (4): 353-379.

2013 ‘Learning in a Guerrilla Community of Practice: Situated Learning, Literacy Practices and Youth in Nepal’s Maoist Movement ’, European Bulletin of Himalayan Research, 42 (Spring-Summer Issue): 104-134.

2009‘A New Way of being Young in Nepal: the Idea of Maoist Youth and Dreams of a New Man’, Studies in Nepali History and Society, 14 (1): 67-107.

  • Gender, marriage, and the dynamic of (im)mobility in the mid-Western hills of Nepal

  • Maoist People's War and the Revolution of Everyday Life in Nepal

  • ‘Rules that apply in times of crisis’: time, agency, and norm-remaking during Nepal's People's War

  • "I started working because I was hungry": The consequences of food insecurity for children's well-being in rural Ethiopia.

  • Maithil women's tales: storytelling on the Nepal-India border

  • More
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