Maya Daurio

Research Key Words:

Indigenous language issues, Nepal, Himalayas, territoriality, language mobility, language mapping, identity, social-ecological resilience, ethnolinguistic vitality, and GIS

Research Summary:

I am interested in linguistic mobility, geographies, and boundary-making, and in the complexities of mapping the movement of languages and people. My research is focused on historical and contemporary examples of language mapping as a disruptive force countering colonial and statist narratives about language, identity, and the nation-state. My work also involves developing innovative cartographic and spatial analysis methods for documenting, displaying, and analyzing language mobility, with a geographic concentration in the Himalayas, New York City, and the Pacific Northwest.

Concurrent research interests include language endangerment and maintenance, traditional ecological knowledge, social-ecological resilience, and mountain geographies. I have worked for over nine years in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and am interested in anthropological, ecological, and humanitarian applications of GIS.

BA in Sociology at Skidmore College (2002)

Honour’s Thesis Title: “Did You Have Enough: Three Generations of Italian-Americans and Their Relationship to Food”

MS in Geography at University of Montana (2009)

Master’s Thesis Title: “Exploring Perspectives On Landscape And Language Among Kaike Speakers In Dolpa, Nepal”

PhD Supervisor: Mark Turin


2020. Gurung, Nawang, Ross Perlin, Mark Turin, Sienna R. Craig, Maya Daurio, and Daniel Kaufman. “Himalayan New Yorkers Tell Stories of COVID-19.” The Nepali Times, June 6, 2020.

2020. Daurio, Maya, Sienna R. Craig, Daniel Kaufman, Ross Perlin, and Mark Turin. “Subversive Maps: How Digital Language Mapping Can Support Biocultural Diversity.” Langscape Magazine Vol. 9, Summer/Winter 2020, “The Other Extinction Rebellion: Countering the Loss of Biocultural Diversity”, online preprint at

2020. Maya Daurio and Mark Turin. “‘Langscapes’ and Language Borders: Linguistic Boundary-Making in Northern South Asia.” Eurasia Border Review 10 (1), 21-42.

2020. Maya Daurio. “Review of Trans-Himalayan Traders Transformed: Return to Tarang.” Himalaya 39 (2).

2019. Maya Daurio. “The Significance of Place in Ethnolinguistic Vitality: Spatial Variations Across the Kaike-Speaking Diaspora Of Nepal.” In The Politics of Language Contact in the Himalaya, edited by Selma K. Sonntag and Mark Turin (Cambridge, UK: Open Book Publishers), pages 109-136.

2012. Maya Daurio. “The Fairy Language: Language Maintenance and Social-Ecological Resilience Among the Tarali of Tichurong, Nepal.” Himalaya 31 (1 & 2): 7-21.

2007. Maya Daurio. “Review of Beyond the Myth of Eco-Crisis: Local Responses to Pressure on Land in Nepal.” The Organization: A Practicing Manager’s Quarterly, July-September 10 (3).

Conference Presentations:

“The Place-Based Experience of Language Transmission and Social-Ecological Knowledge.” Paper presented as part of the Language Politics and Policy Panel at the Himalayan Studies Conference V, Boulder, CO, September 1-4, 2017.

“The Fairy Language: Language Maintenance and Resilience Among the Kaike-Speaking Tarali in Dolpa, Nepal.” Paper presented at the 17th Annual Stabilizing Indigenous Languages Symposium, Eugene, OR, June 25-36, 2010.

“The Fairy Language: The Perpetuation of Social Memory Through Narrative and Ritual Among Kaike Speakers in Sahar Tara, Nepal.” Paper presented at the annual conference of the Association of American Geographers, Washington, DC, April 14-18, 2010.

Guest Lecturer , “Field Experiences in SaharTara and Kathmandu, Nepal.” Research Design, University of Montana, April 15, 2009.

Guest Lecturer , “Communities and Cultures.” Mountains and Society, University of Montana, February 23, 2009.

Governor’s Award for Excellence in Performance, State of Montana , 2018
Phi Kappa Phi Love of Learning Award, University of Montana , 2008
Harold Bockemuehl Scholarship, Department of Geography, University of Montana , 2008
Asia Fund Scholarship, School for International Training , 1998
University of British Columbia Four Year Doctoral Fellowship , 2019