Dr. Vivienne Kondos †

Vivienne kondos Photo


I was awarded my PhD in Social Anthropology from the University of Sydney in 1982. For the next two decades, I was an academic in the Department, retiring in 2001. My PhD research was on the topic of Goddess worship among Nepalese Hindus. I have continued this interest in gender, power and ritual in Hindu societies as well as developing new research topics in the areas of Nepalese politics and the Nepali diaspora. My recent publications include a book, On the Ethos of Hindu Women: Issues, Taboos and Forms of Expression (2004) as well as articles and papers on Goddess worship, fire-walking in Northern Greece, and contemporary Nepalese politics.

Current Work In Progress

Since retirement I have continued researching certain old interests, sometimes with more gusto and experimenting with a different genre. Regarding the latter I have written a docudrama about the Gurkha soldiers and their relationship with their British officers (Your Glory, Our Honour.) I have submitted it for scrutiny by several Australian professional film makers. Another docudrama is in progress, with a story set in Sydney, about a Nepali serving a life-sentence in an Australian prison.

A collection of essays relating to the imagery of Kali continues my concern with Hindu aesthetics and the relevance of its own aesthetic theory (rasa). The discussion, inter alia, attempts to relate Hindu aesthetic principles and those of metaphysics.

I have taken up questions relevant to the constant transformations of the state form (five since 1990) in Nepali politics. One of the most significant developments that needs to be charted is the on-going path of the Nepali Maoists (Communist Party –Maoist). After 10 years of insurgency, and with critical alliances, this party succeeded in overthrowing the monarchy and has emerged as the governing party of Nepal.

Another area of interest is the emergence of the Nepali diaspora as an important political force, active in contributing to current problems of governance under the new republic conditions. There is a global association known as NRN based in a number of countries including Australia. It is certainly remarkable to find that Nepali migrants are seriously committed to the search for desirable structures and processes, while the Nepali Government on its part, is eliciting their suggestions in the formulation of the new Constitution. The range of diverse political issues is currently being explored at conferences and workshops, which I participate in whenever possible.

Selected Publications

2004. On the Ethos of Hindu Women: Issues, Taboos and forms of Expression. Kathmandu: Mandala Book Point. {Review –Caroline Osella SOAS } TAJA 2006

Edited Collections.
1992. Politics of Ritual. Special Issue 4, The Australian Journal of Anthropology, Vol 3(3).

1995. ( co-editor with G.Cowlishaw). Mabo and Australia. The Australian Journal of Anthropology, Special Issue. Vol.6 ( 1 and 2).

Book Chapters
1982. (Reprinted 1990). “The Triple Goddess and the Processual Approach to the World: the Parbatya Case”. In M.R. Allen and S.N. Mukherjee (eds.) Women in India and Nepal. Canberra: ANU Press.

1989. “Subjection and the Domicile: Some Problematic Issues Relating to High Caste Nepalese Women”. In J.N. Gray and D.J. Mearns (eds.) Society from Inside Out: Anthropological Perspectives on the South Asian Household. New Delhi: Sage Publications.

1994. “Jana-Sakti ( People-Power) and the 1990 revolution in Nepal: Some Theoretical Comsiderations”. In M.R. Allen (ed.) Anthropology of Nepal: Peoples, Problems And Processes. Kathmandu: Mandala Book Point.

1994. ( with I Ban and A.Kondos). “For a Better Life: Industrial Workers’ Grievances and Collective Action”. In M.R. Allen (ed.) Anthropology of Nepal: Peoples, Problems and Processes. Kathmandu: Mandala Book Point .

Journal Articles
1984. “Nepalese Absolutism?” South Asia (n. s.) Vol. 7, No.2: 47-71.

1986. “Images of the Fierce Goddess and Portrayals of Hindu Women”. Contributions to Indian Sociology (n.s.) Vol.20,(2):173-197.

1989. (With I.Ban). “ Old Ways, New Sites: Power and Privileges at a Nepalese Woman’s Development Project”. Contributions to Nepalese Studies, Vol. 16,No.2.

1990. “Constructing a Hindu Healing Practice: The Case of a Kali possessed Woman”. Kailash, Vol. XVI, Nos..1-2: 27-70.

1991. “Subjection and the Ethics of Anguish: The Nepalese Parbatya Parent-Daughter Relationship”. Contributions to Indian Sociology (n.s.) Vol.25,(1): 113-133.

1992. (With A.Kondos and I.Ban). Nepal’s Capitalist Class: ‘Origins’ and ‘Behaviour’. South Asia, (n.s.) Vol.XV, (1):81-103.

1992. “A Politics of Ontology: Continuities and Discontinuities”. In V.Kondos (ed.) Politics of Ritual. The Australian Journal of Anthropology, Special Issue, Vol.3, (3): 218-242.

1995. “Introduction: Conditions of Possibility”. The Australian Journal of Anthropology, Special Issue ( Mabo and Australia. Co-edited with G.Cowlishaw. Vol.6. (1 and 2):1-14.

1998. “A Piece on Justice: Some Reflections on Dumont’s Homo Hierarchicus” South Asia (n.s.) Vol.XXI,(1): 33-47.

2000. “Fire, Heroes and the Cosmic: Aesthetic Resonances of Fire-Walking in Northern Greece”. The Australian Journal of Anthropology, Vol.II :1-23.

2001. “An Engagement with the forces of time: Worship at the goddess Guhyeswari temple.” Anthropological Forum, Vol. 11,No. 1: 93-108.

1983. Anthropologist Consultant to CIINETEL PRODUCTIONS on The Cave of Dreams (Pilgrimage to Armanak).