Emily Amburgey

development, ethnic identities, state building, political economy, labour migration, gender, environmental anthropology

Emily’s recent work focuses on social change and state restructuring processes in the Himalaya region of Nepal, situated adjacent to the Tibet Autonomous Region of China. She is continuing to expand on this research and currently investigating the different streams of Nepal’s transnational labor migration from Mustang, Nepal to India and the US. As part of her doctoral research, she looks at how contemporary forms of labour migration transform local livelihoods in relation to class, gender, and political subjectivity at a household and community level. She is interested in how migrant returnees engage with broader identity-based movements and economic transformation in South Asia, and how these experiences reconfigure notions of value at home – in economic, political, and cultural terms.

Emily Amburgey is a Ph.D. student in Anthropology and part of the Liu Scholar Program and Public Scholars Initiative at UBC. Her work is situated at the intersection between international development and socio-cultural anthropology, and surrounds issues of development practice and discourse, ethnic identities, state formation processes, and transnational migration. She engages with digital storytelling methods such as film and photography to highlight issues of social justice, gender, and environmental change.

In addition to this, Emily is assisting Dr. Sara Shneiderman (Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology and School of Public Policy & Global Affairs at UBC) with the SSHRC Partnership Development Grant, Expertise, Labour, and Mobility in Nepal’s Post-Conflict, Post-Disaster Reconstruction: Construction, Finance and Law as Domains of Social Transformation, a multi-disciplinary project addressing Nepal’s ongoing state restructuring and catastrophic earthquakes of 2015.

Emily earned a Research MSc. in International Development Studies from the University of Amsterdam and a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology at the University of California, Santa Cruz.