Silhouette femme

Urmila Nair  

Ph.D. in Anthropology

Freelance translator


Research topics and themes

  • Translation theory
  • Linguistic anthropology
  • Anthropology of religion, ritual studies
  • Tibetan studies
  • Tibetan Buddhist studies



Linguistic anthropology – Tibetan studies – Translation theory



2019-2021 Master’s in editorial, financial and technical translation, École supérieure d’interprètes et de traducteurs (ESIT), Université Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris.
    Title of master’s thesis : La littérature orale en Bretagne.

2001-2010 Master’s and Doctorate in anthropology (specialisation : linguistic anthropology), University of Chicago, United States. Thesis adviser: Michael Silverstein.
Doctoral thesis title: When the Sun’s Rays are as Shadows—the Nechung Rituals and the Politics of Spectacle in Tibetan Exile.

1999-2001 Master’s in anthropology, University of Southern California, United States.

1993-1997 Bachelor’s in Civil Engineering, University of Mumbai, India.


Academic work

2013-2015 Affiliated researcher, MIASU (Mongolian and Inner Asian Studies Unit), University of Cambridge, United Kingdom. (research presentation; part-time lecturer; editorial assistant).

04-06 2013 Visiting fellow, CRASSH (Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities), Universite of Cambridge, United Kingdom. (research presentation).

2010-2012 Mellon Postdoctoral fellow, Departement of anthropology, Johns Hopkins University, United States. (research presentation; lecturer).

2008-2012 Graduate student lecturer, Departement of anthropology, University of Chicago, United States.


English, French, Tibetan (work languages);
Spanish, Hindi (C1 level)



Articles et critiques de livres
n.d.    “Verbalizing Deverbalization: A Critical History of the Interpretive Theory of Translation.” Under review for Chronotopos (peer reviewed journal of translation history).

2013  Book review of Arnold, Daniel, Brains, Buddhas, and Believing: The Problem of Intentionality in Classical Buddhist and Cognitive-Scientific Philosophy of Mind, 328 pp. New York: Columbia University Press, 2012. IN Religion and Society: Advances in Research 4 (2013): 204–207.

2013 Book review of Lempert, Michael, Discipline and Debate: The Language of Violence in a Tibetan Buddhist Monastery, 216 pp. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2012. IN Journal of Linguistic Anthropology (2013): 109-111.



To be published. “Preliminary Questions on the mDos Rituals,” by Anne-Marie Blondeau, trans. Urmila Nair. European Bulletin of Himalayan Research.

2020. “Tracks and Traces of Mont Blanc’s Itineraries: an Approach Through Wayfaring,” by de Potestad, Pierre, trans. Urmila Nair. Journal of Alpine Research | Revue de géographie alpine [En ligne], 108-3 | 2020. Nair, Urmila (trad. URL :


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