Grant TypeDissertation Fieldwork Grant
Institutional AffiliationCornell U.
Grant numberGr. 9700
Approve DateOctober 5, 2018
Project TitleGurung, Sampreety, Cornell U., Ithaca, NY - To aid research on 'Provisioning Life: Food and the Ethics of Care amongst Nepali Migrants in Malaysia,' supervised by Dr. Marina Welker
Nepali migrants in Malaysia have come of age in the post-1990s era of heightened caste and ethnic (jāt) consciousness in Nepal and political mobilization based on claims to indigeneity. How might living and working with diverse jāt groups abroad reconfigure these relations while allowing for new subjectivities and modes of belonging? Since migrants rarely know with whom they will live and work in Malaysia, minoritized jāt groups who have experienced systematic discrimination in Nepal often find themselves living and working in close proximity with dominant jāt groups. The interaction of diverse jāt groups sharing a common nationality, gender and class positions thus offers a unique and generative context of “throwntogetherness” (Massey 2005) through which to understand everyday conviviality amidst uncertain sociability. Given the centrality of food to the making of personhood, kin and the family, this study examines migrants’ cooking, eating, shopping and other food practices to understand the everyday intimacies through which migrants try to provide and care for one another and cultivate ways of ethical living and belonging abroad amidst ambivalent desires. The study will contribute to scholarly discussions on care, food, migration and ethical life.