Modern South Asian Studies Seminar: HT20: Week 4: ‘For a better future’: Education and unstable future-making in Nepal

Conveners: Imre Bangha, Nayanika Mathur, Matthew McCartney, Polly O’Hanlon, Kate Sullivan de Estrada, and David Washbrook

Speaker: Uma Pradhan

Universal schooling has long been considered imperative in attaining better future; both for the state and its people, especially in the Global South. This presentation traces these narratives of ‘better future’ in education, uncertainty of this imagined future, and its implications for the projects of state-making and self-making. I’ll draw on my fieldwork in one ‘model’ government school and its students, in the post-2015-earthquake context of Nepal, to elaborate on hopes and uncertainties attached to imagining a future through education.



Uma Pradhan is Leverhulme Early Career Fellow (OSGA - South Asian Studies) and Junior Research Fellow (Wolfson College). Her research focuses on power-laden dimensions of education. Uma received her DPhil in International Development (2016) from University of Oxford, where she studied the cultural politics of minority language use in schools. Her monograph is forthcoming with Cambridge University Press. At OSGA, she convenes an options paper ‘Education, state and society in South Asia’.

All are welcome.