Dr Uma Pradhan



Pradhan, U. 2020. Language, Education, and the Nepali Nation, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 


Edited collection

Valentin, K., & Pradhan, U. (Eds.). (2023). Anthropological Perspectives on Education in Nepal: Educational Transformations and New Avenues of Learning. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Pradhan, U., Valentin, K., & Gupta, M. (Eds) (2023). Rethinking Education in the Context of Post-Pandemic South Asia Challenges and Possibilities. Routledge.

Pradhan, U. and Valentin, K.  (Guest Editors). 2019. Towards a relational approach to State: understanding social and political transformation in Nepal’, special issue in South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies, Vol 42, no. 5. 


Journal articles

Pradhan, U. 2022. Discomfort as a method: Language, Education, and Politics of Knowledge ProductionStudies in Nepali History and Society 27(1): 113–130.

Pradhan, U. and Valentin, K. 2020. 'Free education? Blurred public-private boundaries in state-run schooling in Nepal', Studies in Nepali History and Society 25(2): 277–298. (Translated 2021 in Nepali language: उमा प्रधान र कारेन भ्यालेन्टिन. निःश ुल्क शिक्षा ? राज्य-सञ्चालित विद्यालयमा पातलिएका सार्वजनिक-निजी सीमा, समाज अध्ययन १६: ४१–६३, २०७८ and Republished 2021 in (Eds) Ramesh Parajuli, Devendra Upreti, and Pratyoush Onta. School Education in Nepal. Kathmandu: Martin Chautari).

Pradhan, U. 2020. Interrogating quality: language, education, and imageries of competence in Nepal. Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/03057925.2018.1559036

Pradhan, U. and Valentin, K. 2019. Introduction: Towards a relational approach to State: understanding social and political transformation in Nepal’, South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies, Vol 42, no. 5. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/00856401.2019.1642615

Pradhan, U. 2019. Multi-ethnic citizens in a multi-ethnic state: Constructing state-citizen relations through ‘difference’ in Adivasi Janajati scholarship programmes in Nepal, South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies, Vol 42, no. 5. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/00856401.2019.1645084

Pradhan, U., Shrestha, S. and Valentin, K. 2019. Disjunctured reciprocity: Paradoxes of community-school relationship in Nepal, Globalisation, Societies, and Education, 17:5, 561-573.  DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/14767724.2019.1584032

Pradhan, U. 2018. Simultaneous identities: ethnicity and nationalism in mother tongue education in Nepal. Nations and Nationalism 25 (2): 718-738. (Nations and Nationalism Essay Prize 2018) DOI: doi.org/10.1111/nana.12463

Pradhan, U. 2017. Constructing knowledge, contesting legitimacy: knowledge-making in mother-tongue education schools in Nepal’, Ethnography and Education 12(3): 381-394. DOI: 10.1080/17457823.2017.1291358

Pradhan, U. 2016. New languages of schooling: dynamics of ethnicity and education in Nepal, HIMALAYA, The Journal of the Association for Nepal and Himalayan Studies 36(2): 9-21 (Dor Bahadur Bista Award 2015) https://digitalcommons.macalester.edu/himalaya/vol36/iss2/6/

Pradhan, U. 2007.The child-to-child approach to community and health development in South Asia. Children, Youth and Environments, 17(1): 257-268

Pradhan, U. and I. Roy. 2006. Pluralism and civil society partnerships: perspectives from Nepal and Uttar Pradesh’, Contemporary South Asia 15(1): 55-75. DOI: 10.1080/09584930600938065


Book chapters

Pradhan, U. 2023. (Re)constructing a 'good' school: Materials, affects, and meanings of education in post-earthquake Nepal. In (Eds.)  Valentin, K. and U. Pradhan, Anthropological Perspectives on Education in Nepal: Educational Transformations and New Avenues of Learning, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Pradhan, U. 2022. Global visions, national students: The narratives of ‘elsewhere’ in Nepal’s education policy. In (Eds.) Joanna Pfaff-Czarnecka, Susan Thieme, and Andrea Kölbel, Mobilities and Mobilisations: South Asian Universities as Transformative Social Spaces. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Pradhan, U., Deepak Thapa, Jeevan Baniya, Yangchen Gurung and Indrajit Roy. 2022. The politics of social protection in Nepal: State infrastructural power and implementation of the Scholarship Programme, in Thomas Lavers (Ed.) The Politics of Distributing Social Transfers in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Pradhan, U. and Valentin, K. 2019. 'Ethnography of education and anthropological knowledge production', In Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Education. Ed. George Noblit. New York: Oxford University Press. DOI: 10.1093/acrefore/9780190264093.013.468 

Pradhan, U. 2019. 'From Language to Script: Constructing linguistic authority through language contact in schools in Nepal', In (Eds.) Mark Turin and Selma Sonntag, Politics of Language Contact in the Himalayas, Cambridge: Open Book Publishers (https://www.openbookpublishers.com//download/book/1073)

Pradhan, U. and Karki, S. 2019. 'Sustainable Development Goals in Nepal: Prospects and Challenges', In (Eds.) Nitya Khemka and Suraj Kumar, Social Development and the Sustainable Development Goals in South Asia, London: Routledge (https://doi.org/10.4324/9781351035262)

Pradhan, U. 2018. 'National education system in Nepal: between the ‘local’ and the ‘global’, In H. Letchamanan and D. Dhar (Ed.) Education in South Asia, London: Bloomsbury Publications (part of Education Around the World Series), pp 165-183 (https://www.bloomsbury.com/us/education-in-south-asia-and-the-indian-ocean-islands-9781350132856/)



Pradhan, U. (2022). Book Review of In Search of Future: Youth, aspiration and mobility in Nepal, by Andrea Kölbel. European Bulletin of Himalayan Research, 58. doi:10.4000/ebhr.481

Pradhan, U. (2021). Book Review of Childs, Geoff & Choedup, Namgyal. From a trickle to a torrent: education, migration, and social change in a Himalayan valley of Nepal, Journal of Royal Anthropological Institute 27: 701-745. (https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-9655.13591

2021    The Politics of Social Protection in Nepal, ESID Working Paper 167  (co-authored with Deepak Thapa, Jeevan Baniya, Yangchen Gurung, Sanjay Mahato and Indrajit Roy)

2020    Social Assistance for Education in Nepal, Martin Chautari Research Brief, Kathmandu: Martin Chautari.

2019    Co-temporality and aftermath epistemology in the wake of the 2015 Nepal earthquakes, Blog post for ‘After the Earth’s Violent Sway’: The tangible and intangible legacies of natural disaster. School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), London.

2018    Local Institutions in Nepal: A literature review. The World Bank Washington DC: The World Bank (co-authored with Indrajit Roy).

Select Publications
Research Interests
Research Disciplines:
  • Education
  • Anthropology
  • Development Studies
Research Keywords:
  • Nepal, anthropology of education, ethnicity & nationalism, minority language education, everyday state-making.
  • Nepal, South Asia
Research Cluster:


Contact Information

Email: uma.pradhan@area.ox.ac.uk

College: Wolfson College

Office Details: 11 Bevington Road, Oxford, OX2 6LH