Snap Talk by Coralynn Davis
Associate Professor of Women's and Gender Studies and Anthropology, and Director of the Women's and Gender Studies program
"Maithil Women in Nepal as the Creators of Culture through the Telling of Tales"
Abstract: I will describe my ethnographic book project whose subjects are Maithil women living in a Nepal-India border region. Through the retelling and analysis of often fantastical and variously tragic, triumphant, and brain-tickling tales, the book explores how Maithil women construct and negotiate cosmological principles, social values, behavioral norms, and senses of self through the everyday practice of "folk" storytelling. I theorize the role of storytelling in contexts of cultural dissensus, especially in regard to the persistence of unsanctioned ways of understanding and acting upon reality among socially and economically disempowered and culturally silenced historical actors.