Matthäus Rest

Visiting Scholar

Matthäus received his doctorate in anthropology from the University of Zurich in 2014. His thesis dealt with the ramifications of an unbuilt hydropower dam in Nepal. He was a postdoc at the Nepā School of Social Sciences and Humanities in Kathmandu and the University of California, Los Angeles investigating the politics around a delayed drinking water scheme for Kathmandu.

CV

Education

2014
PhD in Social Anthropology at the URPP Asia and Europe, University of Zurich
2007
M. A. in Social Anthropology & Organic Agriculture, Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Vienna and Department of Agriculture, University of Applied Life Sciences Vienna

Professional Employment

2017
Research Fellow in the European Research Council funded project “Remoteness and Connectivity: Highland Asia in the World, Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich
2017
Adjunct Lecturer, Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Munich
2015 – 2016
Lecturer, Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Munich
2014 – 2015
Visiting Scholar, Department of Anthropology, University of California, Los Angeles
2014
Visiting Scholar, Nepā School of Social Sciences and Humanities, Kathmandu
2012 – 2013
Visiting Scholar, Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Oxford
2011
Adjunct Lecturer, Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Zurich
2009 – 2012
Research Fellow, URPP Asia & Europe, University of Zurich
Since 2009
Adjunct Lecturer, Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Vienna
2007 – 2008
Graduate Student Instructor, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Vienna

Fellowships & Awards

2015 & 2016
Travel Grant, University of Munich
2014–2015
Early Postdoc. Mobility fellowship, Swiss National Science Foundation
2014
Travel Grant, Swiss Academy of Humanities and Social Sciences
2012–2013
Fellowship for prospective researchers, Swiss National Science Foundation
2012
Travel Grant, Swiss Academy of Humanities and Social Sciences
2009 – 2012
Research Grant, Humer Foundation for Academic Talent and URPP Asia & Europe of the University of Zurich
2008
Research grant, University of Vienna Summer grant, Graduate School Asia and Africa in World Reference Systems at the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg
2007
Merit scholarship, University of Vienna
2006
Research grant, University of Vienna

CEEPUS grant, Austrian Agency for International Cooperation in Education and Research and Wroclaw University of Environmental and Life Sciences

2005
Research grant, South African Wine Industry Trust (with Werner Zips & colleagues)
2004
Travel grant, Academy of Fine Arts Vienna

Speaking

Organized Sessions

Dec 2016
“Energy and Borderlands. Mapping the Himalayan Hydropower Frontier.” Dynamic Borderlands: Livelihoods, Communities and Flows. 5th Conference of the Asian Borderlands Research Network, Kathmandu, 12-14 December 2016.
Feb 2015
“High Hydro Visions: Political Ecologies of Water in the Himalayan Region.” Dimensions of Political Ecology, University of Kentucky in Lexington, 26-28 February 2015. Co-organized with Christopher Butler and Amelie Huber.
Dec 2014
“Urban Infrastructures.” 113th Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association, Washington, DC, 3-7 December 2014.
Apr 2014
“Participation and resistance of civil societies in networks around Science, Technology and Medicine in the Global South.” 6th Living Knowledge Conference, Copenhagen, 8-11 April 2014. Co-organized with Rachel Douglas-Jones and Salla Sariola.
Jul 2012
“Developing control: the reconfiguration of space and the making of development on the ground.” 22nd European Conference for South Asian Studies, University of Lisbon, 25-28 July 2012. Co-organized with Miriam Bishokarma, Pia Hollenbach and Sebastian Homm.
May 2012
“‘Wild und Schön’ – Maskeraden von Männlichkeit.” 7. Tage der Kultur- und Sozialanthropologie, University of Vienna, 24-25 May 2012. Co-organized with Gertraud Seiser.

Presentations (selected)

Mar 2017
Wild and Beautiful: The Krampus in Salzburg. Winter Festivals and Traditions Conference, Institute for Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Oxford, 25 March 2017 (with Gertraud Seiser).
Jul 2016
State of Suspension: Nepal’s unfinished infrastructures. Conference of the European Association of Social Anthropologists, Milano, 20-23 July 2016.

Becoming a Hydropower Nation: Nepal’s promised Dams. Conference of the Association of Social Anthropologists of the UK and Commonwealth, Durham, 4-8 July 2016.

Apr 2016
Der aufgeschobene Staudamm: Warten auf das Arun-3 Wasserkraftprojekt in Nepal. Invited Lecture, Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich, 18 April 2016.
Mar 2016
Constructions that take a lifetime: Nepal's suspended infrastructures. Invited Lecture, Kathmandu Branch Office of Heidelberg University’s South Asia Institute, Yalamaya Kendra, 11 March 2016.
Nov 2015
Das Comeback der Staudämme im Globalen Süden am Beispiel des Arun-3 Projekts in Nepal. Invited Lecture, University of Zürich, 23 November 2015.
Oct 2015
The Dams to Come: Nepal’s utopian Promise of Becoming a Hydropower Nation. Biennial Conference of the Finnish Anthropological Society, Helsinki, 21-22 October 2015.
Apr 2015
Dreaming of Pipes: The politics of in/visibility around Nepal’s spectral infrastructures. Invited Lecture, Center for India and South Asia, University of California, Los Angeles, 6 April 2015.
Feb 2015
The Return of the prodigal Dam: The Resumption of the Arun-3 hydropower project in Nepal. Dimensions of Political Ecology, University of Kentucky in Lexington, 26-28 February 2015.
Feb 2015
The Reincarnation of the invisible Dam: Resuming Arun-3. Invited Lecture, Martin Chautari, Kathmandu, 10 February 2015.
Dec 2014
Dreaming of Pipes: The Melamchi Water Supply Project in Nepal. 113th Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association, Washington, DC, 3-7 December 2014.
Aug 2014
The Invisible Dam: The Conception, Cancellation and Uncertain Reincarnation of the Arun-3 Hydropower Project. Invited Lecture, Nepa School of Social Sciences and Humanities, Kathmandu, 27 August 2014.
Jul 2014
The Road that took its Time: Nepal’s Kosi-Lhasa Highway along the Arun River. Decennial Conference of the Association of Social Anthropologists of the UK and Commonwealth, Edinburgh, 19-22 June 2014 and Practices of Materiality – 1st Vienna Ethnography Lab, Vienna, 16-18 July 2014.

Spectres of Water Pipes: Kathmandu’s imagination of a future without water scarcity. Conference of the European Association of Social Anthropologists, Tallinn, 31 July – 3 August 2014.

Apr 2014
How to produce an invisible Dam: The collaboration of global civil society and the World Bank in the cancellation of the Arun-3 hydropower project in Nepal. 6th Living Knowledge Conference, Copenhagen, 8-11 April 2014.
Apr 2013
The Amnesiac Bank: The World Bank and the cancellation of the Arun-3 hydropower project in 1995. 11th Nepal Study Day, Edinburgh, 18-19 April 2013.
Nov 2012
Dam good Business? India and Nepal’s Arun-3 hydropower project. 111th Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association, San Francisco, 14-18 November 2012.
Jul 2012
A dam cancelled and reincarnated. The Nepalese Arun-3 hydropower project. 22nd European Conference for South Asian Studies, Lisbon, 25-28 July 2012.

“The electricity demand of Nepal’s interconnected power system.” India and the Arun-3 hydropower project. Conference of the European Association of Social Anthropologists, Paris, 10-13 July 2012.

May 2012
“The dam that wasn’t there.” Transnationaler Aktivismus, das Weltbank Inspection Panel und der Nicht-Bau des Arun-3 Wasserkraftprojekts in Nepal. Invited Lecture, Department of Ethnology, University of Hamburg, 15 May 2012.
Apr 2011
Generating Power. Discourses on Development around the Arun-3 Hydropower Project in Nepal. Paper presented at the conference of the British Association for South Asian Studies, University of Southampton, 13 April 2011.
Dec 2010
Arrested Development? Discourses on the Arun-3 project. Invited lecture, Project Labour in Development, Indira Gandhi National Open University, New Delhi, 31 January 2011 and Faculty of Law, Nepal Law Campus, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, 19 December 2010.
Feb 2010
Water Power. The Nepalese Arun 3 Hydropower Project. Invited lecture, Department of Sociology, University of Pune, 27 February 2010.
Jul 2008
Globalisation, Migration and the Imaginary among the Yamphu Rai of Eastern Nepal. Summer School “Cultural Translation” at the Graduate School Asia and Africa in World Reference Systems, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, 17 July 2008.
Apr 2007
“I money – I farm.” Transformationen und Kontinuitäten in Südostpolen. 3. Tage der Kultur- und Sozialanthropologie, University of Vienna, 27 April 2007.
Jun 2004
Denglawengl. Sound-Performance with Michael Gailer & Jan Blaschko on and about sharpening scythes. Conference of the International Society of Ethnobiology, University of Kent at Canterbury, 14-16 June 2004.

Publications

Refereed Articles

2012
Generating Power. Debates on Development around the Nepalese Arun-3 Hydropower Project, in: Contemporary South Asia, 20 (1), 2012, 105–117.

Edited Volumes

2016
Wild und Schön. Der Krampus im Salzburger Land (with Gertraud Seiser). Vienna: LIT Verlag, 2016.

Book Chapters & Editor-reviewed Articles

2016
Wild und Schön. Eine Einleitung (with Gertraud Seiser), in: Rest & Seiser (eds.) 2016, 13-34.

Läufe, Kränzchen, Rummel, Shows … und Hausbesuche. Zu den Formen des Krampuslaufs (with Gertraud Seiser), in: Rest & Seiser (eds.) 2016, 69-86.

„Nicht schon wieder.“ Über das Rempeln, in: Rest & Seiser (eds.) 2016, 87-104.

Die Verteidigung des Abendlandes. Der Krampus und der Islam (with Martin Sartori), in: Rest & Seiser (eds.) 2016, 169-180.

Santa’s evil twin? Der Krampus in Los Angeles und die Sehnsucht nach dem alten wilden Weihnachten, in: Rest & Seiser (eds.) 2016, 291-304.

2008
„Something we could never have”. Die Südafrikanische Landreform und ihre Auswirkungen am Beispiel des Weinbaus im Western Cape (with Stephan Handl and Severin Lenart), in: Zips, Werner (ed.). To BEE or not to Be. Black Economic Empowerment in der südafrikanischen Weinindustrie. Vienna: LIT Verlag, 2008, 233-268.

„Man sieht, dass das die Hände von einem Bauern sind.” Bäuerliche Identität und Ethnizität im post-sozialistischen Polen, in: Austrian Studies in Social Anthropology, 2008 (2).

Essays and Commentaries (selected)

2015
The Damage Done and the Dams to Come (with Austin Lord and Christopher Butler), in: Fieldsights – Hot Spots, Cultural Anthropology Online, 14 October 2015, http://www.culanth.org/fieldsights/730-the-damage-done-and-the-dams-to-come.

A Constitutional Mess, in: Daily News and Analysis, 30 Sep 2015, 8, http://www.dnaindia.com/analysis/column-a-constitutional-mess-2130190.

The Politics of Earthquake, in: Daily News and Analysis, 1 May 2015, 8, http://www.dnaindia.com/analysis/column-the-politics-of-earthquake-2082166.

2012
Long and Winding, in: The Kathmandu Post, 6 June 2014, 7. http://kathmandupost.ekantipur.com/printedition/news/2014-06-05/long-and-winding.html.

Von einheimischen Geistern und auswärtigen Göttern. Das Arun-3 Wasserkraftprojekt, in: Südasien, 2012 (4), 49-52.

2008
„Arbeit macht das Leben süss, so süss wie Maschinenöl,” in: Wege für eine bäuerliche Zukunft. Zeitschrift der via campesina austria, Nr. 302, 2008, 28-29.
2002
Meine Beobachtungen mit einer ungewöhnlichen Gruppe, in: Nikolai, Werner & Henry Lehmann (eds.) Grenzen der Gedenkstättenpädagogik mit rechten Jugendlichen. Freiburg im Breisgau: Lambertus, 2002, 70-72.

Book reviews

2016
On Roads. A Review Letter to Penny Harvey and Hannah Knox about Roads: An Anthropology of Infrastructure and Expertise (with Alessandro Rippa et al.), in: Fieldsights – Dialogues, Cultural Anthropology Online, 4 October 2016, https://culanth.org/fieldsights/969-on-roads-a-review-letter

Rituals of Ethnicity: Thangmi Identities between Nepal and India, in: Inner Asia, 18 (2016), Issue 1, 170-172.

Staudamm oder Leben? Der Widerstand an der Narmada, in: suedasien.info, 2011, http://www.suedasien.info/articles/2984.

Online Teaching Material

2009
Grundlagen sozialwissenschaftlicher Denkweisen (with Werner Zips). eLearning Zentrum der Fakultät für Sozialwissenschaften, University of Vienna, 2009.

Other Media

2004
Denglawengl. 20 min Audio-CD & 7 min video installation on and about sharpening scythes, with Michael Gailer & Jan Blaschko, Vienna, 2004.

Contact:
Highland Asia Research Group
LMU, Social and Cultural Anthropology, Oettingenstr. 67
80538 Munich, Germany

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