Author Biography

Jan Brunson is an Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. Her ethnographic research focuses on global discourses on women’s health and the politics of reproduction in Nepal. Her first book, Planning Families in Nepal: Global and Local Projects of Reproduction (2016), offers an account of Hindu Nepali women as they face conflicting global and local ideals regarding reproduction and family. She co-edited the book International Handbook on Gender and Demographic Processes (2018), and her articles appear in a variety of scholarly journals including Social Science and Medicine, Ethnos, and Maternal and Child Health Journal.

Suman Raj Tamrakar is Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Kathmandu University School of Medical Sciences at Dhulikhel, Nepal. His research focuses on women’s health issues and reproductive health in Nepal. His articles are published in journals such as International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics and BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth. He is a regular columnist for national newspapers on health-related topics, and he has also published books in Nepali that promote health, including several for new parents and a few children’s books. For the last three years he has been active in increasing awareness of gender-based violence, and he is a recognized national trainer on the subject.


As an ANHS Senior Fellow, I began to explore the standardization of time in obstetrics and its translation into everyday practice in Nepal by analyzing the various perspectives involved in determining a woman’s ideal time of delivery and a successful pregnancy: those of laypeople, doctors, and the scholars setting the guidelines. I observed Nepali biomedical practitioners’ negotiation of multiple understandings of parturition and their strategies for overcoming the challenges of pre- and post-term births.


I am grateful for the support of ANHS for this exploratory project. I thank Aruna Uprety for facilitating introductions to obstetricians. I am indebted to all the professors and residents who worked with me toward building a foundation for future research.

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