As an anthropologist, my job is to take particular cultural case-studies and apply them to broader problems but it is also my duty to communicate the importance of cultural understanding across different nationalities, religions, and ideologies. And while my usual research focuses on ritual practices and pilgrimage in Nepal and India, I am also interested in many of the ongoing political, economic, racial, gendered, and religious issues we face here in the West. Therefore, I want to welcome you to Mocking the Apocalypse; a blog featuring cultural commentaries, media reviews, and short essays aimed at starting discussions about the everyday social issues that continue to plague us.

In some cases, my commentary might be controversial or troubling, in other cases, benign and observational. But whatever it is, I encourage conversation and discussion. Just keep it civil and consider the context.

Lastly, Violin is an online pen name (clearly). While I don’t typically discuss myself in public forums, I will say that I have a degree in Anthropology/Archaeology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (my focus was religious and linguistic anthropology/Medieval history) where I participated in an archaeological dig in northern Belize (Lowland Maya). I hold a Masters degree and am currently a doctoral candidate in Cultural Anthropology (focusing on religion, language, and gender) at Brandeis University. I have also previously conducted fieldwork on Hindu ritual practice in West Bengal, northern India. My current ethnographic work now however focuses on ritual practice, religious hybridity, pilgrimage, and national identity in the high Himalayas of Nepal. Aside from that, I am personally interested in a variety of myths and rituals, religious anthropology, theology, semiotics, media, and linguistics.

Follow me on Twitter: Left Field Notes @Manigarm