Michael T. Heneise
Michael T. Heneise is associate professor of religious studies at UiT The Arctic University of Norway. He has conducted anthropological research in the South American Andes, and in the Indian Himalayas. His doctoral research at the University of Edinburgh explored the relationship between dreams and agency among the Nagas in the Indo-Myanmar highlands. Prior to Edinburgh he studied anthropology in Ecuador at the Latin American School of Social Sciences (FLACSO). He co-founded the Highland Institute in India, and is co-editor of the journals Himalaya and Highlander.
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Heneise's main research interests include indigenous religion, ecological knowledge, ritual healing, medical pluralism, dreams, and oral epics in the Himalayas. He is also interested in the notion of Highland Asia as a new world region, and his co-edited book (with Jelle JP Wouters) The Routledge Handbook of Highland Asia (2022), is the first comprehensive and critical overview of the ethnographic and anthropological work in Highland Asia over the past half a century. The 32 chapter handbook presents Highland Asia as a world region that cuts across the traditional divides inherited from colonial and Cold War area divisions - the Indian subcontinent / South Asia, Southeast Asia, China / East Asia, and Central Asia. Heneise is also completing a book with indigenous scholar Dharamsing Teron documenting the 35-hour long Kecharhe Alun oral epic in Karbi Anglong, Northeast India. The first effort of its kind to fully record and document, translate, and publish the Kecharhe Alun, the project has involved a community of indigenous researchers in Assam, and led to renewed interest in the region in the oral epic genre.
As a recent arrival in Norway, Heneise mainly teaches in English, and often introduces his own anthropological work in the Himalayas in his classes. The rich cultures of the region, which is also the seat of many of the world's great religious traditions, is undergoing great transformations - ecological, political, economic, cultural - and is thus a critical region to study.