There are many aspects of Zangskar that fascinate me, but I am especially interested in the interactions and linkages between Zangskaris and their environment . My fieldwork and published research has largely focused on Zangskar's changing agricultural practices and the politics surrounding Zangskar's irrigation development. My interest in Tibetan Buddhism remains little more than a personal pursuit towards a greater understanding.
If you are interested in Zangskari agriculture, and in particular the shift in fertiliser practice from traditional manure and night soil application to modern chemical fertiliser, then you may find my BSc thesis (download) of interest "The Introduction of Modern Chemical Fertiliser to the Zanskar Valley, Ladakh and its Effects on Agricultural Productivity, Soil Quality and Zanskari Society"
My Masters thesis (download) "The Implementation of the Watershed Development Programme in Zangskar, Ladakh: Irrigation Development Politics and Society" explores the politics and agendas of the stakeholders involved in Zangskar's irrigation development and the Watershed Development Programme. A copy of my thesis is also available for download from the SOAS Water Issues website (Occasional Paper 66) and a condensed version was published in Ladakh Studies 19. Please visit the International Association for Ladakh Studies website for more info on Ladakh's academic community. You may also be interested to learn that increasingly a number of back-issues of the Ladakh Studies journal are also available free for download.
I last presented a paper at the IALS Colloquium in Rome in September 2007. This paper, and indeed my current research, draws upon Henry Osmaston's work in Himalayan Buddhist Villages and some of my own field research from the last 13 years. I am continuing to research shifts in fertiliser practice. However, drawing upon the wider social and economic context of Zangskar's changing agricultural practices, I am also exploring perceptions of self-sufficiency, household inequality, and the breakdown of community and reciprocal labour agreements, especially in Padum. I have recently co-authoring a paper that builds on some of these ideas, a full pdf version can be viewed on Erdkunde's website.