Global Issues Colloquium Schedule

“What Happens When All the Young People Leave? Education, Migration, and Social Change in a Himalayan Valley of Nepal”
Dr. Geoff Childs, professor, Department of Anthropology, Washington University, St. Louis
7 p.m.
April 2
Magruder Hall 2001

ABSTRACT: What happens to a community when the majority of young people leave their homes to pursue an education? Geoff Childs, professor of anthropology at Washington University in St. Louis, discusses the demographic and social consequences of educational migration from Nubri, a Tibetan enclave in the highlands of Nepal. His talk will explore parents’ motivations for sending their children to distant schools and monasteries, and dilemmas that arise when educated individuals are unable or unwilling to return and reside in their native villages. Drawing on decades of research in Nepal, his talk examines a transitional period when the future of a Himalayan society teeters on the brink of irreversible change.
BIO: Geoff Childs, Ph.D., is professor of anthropology at Washington University in St. Louis. He is an anthropological demographer specializing in research among Tibetan populations living in the highlands of Nepal, China, and India. He uses the quantitative tools of demography to understand what is happening with a population, for example, the timing and magnitude of a fertility decline, or the pattern of out-migration. Childs uses the qualitative tools of ethnography to understand the driving forces behind those trends, and how they impact the lives of individuals. His research has been funded by Fulbright-Hays, Wenner-Gren, The National Science Foundation, World Oral Literature Project, The Shelly and Donald Rubin Foundation and Washington University in St. Louis.
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