Mark Turin

1973 –
anthropology, linguistics
Himalayan region, in particular Nepal, northern India, Bhutan and cultural Tibet

Curriculum vitae

1973born in London
1995BA and then MA Faculty of Archaeology and Anthropology, Cambridge University
1996-2000PhD student fellowship, CNWS and VTW, Leiden University
teacher of Nepali language, Amsterdam and lecturing on fieldwork methodology at Leiden
2000-2002research assistant, Department of Social Anthropology, Cambridge University
2002-2004post-doctoral fellow, Department of Anthropology, Cornell University
2005visiting scientist, International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development, Kathmandu
2006PhD linguistics under the supervision of G. van Driem, Leiden University
2006associate member, Leiden University Centre for Linguistics (May-August)
2006senior visiting scholar and project director, Gangtok, Sikkim, India, Namgyal Institute of Tibetology (September-December)
2007post-doc researcher, Institut für Linguistik, Leipzig University (January-April)
2007-2008chief, translation and interpretation unit & senior Nepali-English interpreter, United Nations Mission in Nepal (May 2007-May 2008)
2008visiting fellow, Department of Anthropology, Cornell University (July-December)
2009-presentresearch associate, Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology College Fellow, Hughes Hall, Cambridge University
2011-presentlecturer and associate research scientist, South Asian Studies, Yale University

Special activities and positions

  • Co-founder and director of the Digital Himalaya Project, 2000-present
  • Director of the World Oral Literature Project
  • Principal interpreter and advisor on a one-month field contract during Nepal’s People’s Movement as part of a UN-sponsored international human rights monitoring mission, April 2006
  • Consultant in the UN Development Programme on the Tibet Development and Poverty Alleviation Programme, November 2005
  • Consultant on the Nepal Education For All (EFA) proposal, September 2003
  • Reader of over 130 invited lectures, seminar presentations and conference papers delivered in English, Dutch, Nepali and Thangmi at scholarly and other venues in Europe, North America and Asia
  • Member of editorial board & reviews editor of European Bulletin of Himalayan Research, 2002-
  • Member of editorial board of Himalayan Linguistics, 2001-2010
  • Member of editorial board of the Bulletin of Tibetology, Namgyal Institute of Tibetology, Gangkok, Sikkim, 2003-
  • Presenter of a new, three-part BBC radio series on language endangerment and policy entitled Our Language in Your Hands


Selected publications

Turin’s publications written in the period when he worked in the Netherlands up to his doctorate (1996-2006), are included. Book reviews published in academic journals ( Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, Journal of Linguistic Anthropology, Contemporary South Asia, Asian Studies Review, Himalayan Linguistics, Studies in Nepali History and Society, European Bulletin of Himalayan Research , etc.) are not included.
1997 “Too many stars and not enough sky: language and ethnicity among the Thakali of Nepal.” Contributions to Nepalese Studies 24,2: 187-199.
1998 “The Thangmi verbal agreement system and the Kiranti connection.” BSOAS 61,3: 476-491.
1999 “The Chenchu of the Indian Deccan.” In: Richard Lee and Richard Daly (eds), Cambridge Encyclopedia of Hunters and Gatherers, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 252-256.
“Whence Thangmi? Historical ethnography and comparative morphology.” In: Yogendra Prasad Yadava and Warren G. Glover (eds), Topics in Nepalese linguistics, Kathmandu: Royal Nepal Academy, pp. 451-477.
“By way of incest and the golden deer: how the Thangmi came to be and the pitfalls of oral history.” Journal of Nepalese Studies 3,1: 13-19.
2000 “Learning Nepali the SOAS way.” Contributions to Nepalese Studies 26,1: 171-182.
“Shared words, shared history? The case of Thangmi and late classical Newar.” Journal of Newar Studies 3(1999/2000): 9-17.
“Time for a true population census: the case of the miscounted Thangmi.” Nagarik (Citizen) 2,4: 14-19.
“The changing face of language and linguistics in Nepal: some thoughts on Thangmi.” Janajati: Journal of Nationalities of Nepal 2,1: 49-62.
2001 & Sara Shneiderman, “Preliminary etymological notes on Thangmi clan names and indigenous explanations of their provenance.” Journal of Nepalese Literature, Art and Culture 3,2(2000), pp. 69-83.
& René Baptist Huysmans, Nepali voor beginners (in Dutch), manuscript used for teaching Nepali at the India Instituut.
2002 “Call me uncle: an outsider’s experience of Nepali kinship.” Contributions to Nepalese Studies 28,2 (July 2001): 277-283.
“Ethnonyms and other-nyms: linguistic anthropology among the Thangmi of Nepal.” In: Katia Buffetrille and Hildegard Diemberger (eds), Territory and identity in Tibet and the Himalayas, Leiden (Brill’s Tibetan Studies Library 2,9), pp. 253-270.
2003 & Tej Ratna Kansakar (eds), Themes in Himalayan languages and Linguistics, Kathmandu: South Asia Institute (SAI) Heidelberg and Tribhuvan University.
& Patricia East et al. (eds), The Gauri Shankar trekking area (including Rolwaling) – a cultural tour book, Kathmandu: Eco Himal and Mandala Book Point.
“Ethnobotanical notes on Thangmi plant names and their medicinal and ritual uses.” Contributions to Nepalese Studies 30,1: 19-52.
“A geolinguistic analysis of historical writings on the Thangmi people and language of Nepal.” Geolinguistics 29: 71-92.
2004 & Bir Bahadur Thami, Nepali – Thami – English Dictionary, Kathmandu: Martin Chautari.
& Corneille Jest et al. (eds), Kesar Lall: a homage on the occasion of his Buraa Janko, Kathmandu: Marina.
“Newar-Thangmi lexical correspondences and the linguistic classification of Thangmi.” Journal of Asian and African Studies (JAAS) 68: 97-120.
“The phonology of Thangmi: a Tibeto-Burman language of Nepal.” Journal of Asian and African Studies (JAAS) 67: 63-103.
“Current ethnolinguistic concerns among the overlooked Thangmi of Nepal.” In: Leonard Ashley and Wayne Finke (eds), Language and identity, Jamaica-New York: Cummings & Hathaway, pp. 409-422.
& Sara Shneiderman, “The path to Jan Sarkar in Dolakha district: towards an ethnography of the Maoist movement.” In: Michael Hutt (ed.), Himalayan “People’s War’: Nepal’s Maoist rebellion, London: Hurst & Co., pp. 79-111.
“Thangmi kinship terminology in comparative perspective.” In: Anju Saxena (ed.), Himalayan languages: past and present, trends in linguistics, Berlin-New York (Mouton Studies and Monographs 149), pp. 101-139.
& Sara Shneiderman, “Thangmi, Thami, Thani? Remembering a forgotten people.” In: Niko Bacinte Smarika, Darjeeling: Indian Thami Welfare Association, pp. 82-100.
Et al. (eds), Nepali-English and English-Nepali Glossary, 2nd edition, Department of Asian Studies, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York.
Editorial assistance to: Banu Oja and Shambhu Oja, Nepali: a beginner’s primer, conversation and grammar, 3rd edition, Department of Asian Studies, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York.
2005 “Language endangerment and linguistic rights in the Himalayas: a case study from Nepal.” Mountain Research and Development (MRD) 25,1: 4-9.
“The morphophonology of Thangmi: a Tibeto-Burman language of Nepal.” In: Yogendra Yadava et al. (eds), Contemporary issues in Nepalese linguistics, Kathmandu: Linguistic Society of Nepal, pp. 267-284.
& Alan Macfarlane and Sarah Harrison, “Anthropological and other ancestors: notes on setting up a visual archive of the discipline.” Anthropology News 46,9: 21-22.
2006 Grammar of Thangmi with an ethnolinguistic introduction to the speakers and their culture, 2 volumes, Leiden
& Sara Shneiderman, “Revisiting ethnography, recognizing a forgotten people: the Thangmi of Nepal and India.” Studies in Nepali History and Society (SINHAS) 11,1: 97-181.
& Sara Shneiderman, “Seeking the tribe: ethnopolitics in Darjeeling and Sikkim.” Himal Southasian 18,5: 54-58.
“Rethinking Tibeto-Burman: linguistic identities and classifications in the Himalayan periphery.” In: P. Christiaan Klieger (ed.), Tibetan Borderlands, Leiden: Brill (Tibetan Studies Library 10,2), pp. 35-48.
“Minority language policies and politics in Nepal.” In: Anju Saxena and Lars Borin (eds), Lesser-known languages of South Asia: status and policies, case studies and applications of information technology, Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, pp. 61-72.
2011 & Bettina Zeisler (eds), Himalayan languages and linguistics: studies in phonology, semantics, morphology and syntax, Leiden (Brill’s Tibetan Studies Library 5).
2012 Grammar of Thangmi with an ethnolinguistic introduction to the speakers and their culture, 2 volumes, Leiden (Brill’s Tibetan Studies Library, Languages of the Greater Himalayan Region, 5/6).