Dr Kelzang Tashi

Dr Kelzang Tashi

Visiting Fellow

Department of Anthropology

English, Nepali
Key Expertise
Bhutan, the Himalayas

About me

Dr. Kelzang T. Tashi is a Humboldt Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Anthropology, South Asia Institute (SAI), Heidelberg University. Previously, he was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Asia Research Institute at National University of Singapore and a Research Associate in the Asian Institute’s Centre for South Asian Studies at University of Toronto. He has been a Visiting Fellow in the Department of Anthropology, London School of Economics and Political Science since 2021. 

Dr. Tashi was trained at the Australian National University, Canberra, Australia. He uses ethnographic methods to study the intersection of religion, society, kinship and gender, health and healing, migration, and the environment, with a regional focus on the eastern Himalayas, including Tibet. He has also developed emerging research interests in Yunnan, China, and Mongolia. Dr. Tashi’s first book, which is based on his PhD thesis, was published by Oxford University Press (New York) as part of the American Academy of Religion Book Series.

Dr. Tashi is currently working on two projects. The first one investigates the extent to which land inheritance and matrimonial practices in rural villages in Bhutan are being transformed as a result of legislative changes, in light of anthropological debates about the fragility and resilience of matriliny in the face of modernisation. The second project investigates human-nonhuman relations in Bhutanese animist ontology and their impacts on environmental conservation.

Expertise Details

Religion; Society; Kinship and gender; Health and healing; Migration; The environment; Bhutan; and the Himalayas

Selected publications


Tashi, T. K. (2023). World of Worldly Gods: the persistence and transformation of Shamanistic Bon in Buddhist Bhutan. New York: Oxford University Press.

Book Chapters

Tan, G. Gillian and Tashi, T. Kelzang (2023, forthcoming book chapter) Agro-Pastoral Rivers of Bhutan and Tibet. In edited volume Climate Change and Himalayan Rivers. London: Routledge Environment Series.

Selected Articles

Tashi, T. K. (under review). Socioeconomic and environment relations in Bhutanese animist ontology.

Tashi, T.K. 2023. The Bon religious practice in Bhutan. The Oxford Research Encyclopaedia of Asian History.https://doi.org/10.1093/acrefore/9780190277727.013.733.

Tashi, T. K. (2022). Life on the porch: marginality, women, and old age in rural Bhutan. Journal of Anthropological Research, 78(1), 35-58. https://doi.org/10.1086/717846.

Tashi, T. K. (2021). The (un)Changing Karma: Pollution Beliefs, Social Stratification, and Reincarnisation in Bhutan. The Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology, 22(1), 41-57. https://doi.org/10.1080/14442213.2021.1884125

Tashi, K. (2015). A quantitative analysis of practice of distributed leadership: Teachers’ perception of their engagement in four dimensions of distributed leadership in Bhutanese schools. Asia Pacific Education Review, 16(3), 353-366. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12564-015-9387-4.