Postdoctoral Research FellowDr. Marion Wettstein

Contact Information

Dr. Marion Wettstein
Karl Jaspers Centre
Voßstraße 2, Building 4400
Room 400.01.08
69115 Heidelberg

+49 (0) 6221 54 4308


Having studied anthropology, musical anthropology and media studies at the University of Zürich, Marion Wettstein is currently postdoctoral research fellow at Heidelberg Centre for Transcultural Studies (HCTS). In her research tandem ‘Queer Heritage-making in times of political turmoil: A transcultural approach’ that is part of the ‘Flagship Initiative Transforming Cultural Heritage’ at the University of Heidelberg, she examines the relation of queer communities in Nepal  to local religious and cultural heritage. With a general interest in Asia and its relations to Europe, her regional specialization is the extended Himalayas, particularly Northeast India and Nepal. She is the author of “Naga Textiles: Design, Technique, Meaning and Effect of a Local Craft Tradition in Northeast India” (Arnoldsche Art Publishers 2014).

Personal Website Marion Wettstein

CV (Excerpt)

Since 2023  Postdoctoral research fellow at HCTS – Heidelberg Centre for Transcultural Studies (Project: ‘Queer Heritage-making in times of political turmoil: A transcultural approach’ in the framework of the ‘Flagship Initiative Transforming Cultural Heritage’ at Heidelberg University)
2017 – 2022  Postdoc assistant at the Institute for the Science of Religion and Central Asian Studies, University of Bern
2015 – 2016  Lecturer at the universities of Bern and Zürich (social anthropology and science of religion)
2011 – 2015  Postdoc project “Ritual, Space, Mimesis: Performative Traditions and Ethnic Identity among the Rai of eastern Nepal” funded by the Austrian Science Foundation (FWF), headed by Univ.-Prof. Dr. Martin Gaenszle. Sub-project leader of “Ritual and Mimesis: Identity based on Dance”, Department of South Asian, Tibetan and Buddhist Studies, University of Vienna
2006 – 2010  Scientific staff in the research project “Oral Traditions, Material Culture and Identity among the Naga of Northeast India”, funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF), headed by Prof. Dr. Michael Oppitz, Ethnographic Museum, University of Zürich
2007 – 2008  Scientific staff of the Ethnographic Museum, University of Zürich
2002 – 2006  Scientific assistant of Prof. Dr. Michael Oppitz, University of Zürich

Selected Publications

Wettstein, Marion and Alban von Stockhausen. 2022. “Ethnographic Comparison and Pre-History? A Comparison of the Chamdam Status Rituals among the Dumi Rai of Eastern Nepal and the Feasts of Merit among the Ao Naga of Northeast India”. In: Stephen Morey, Mark Post and Toni Huber (eds.), Ethno-linguistic prehistory of the Eastern Himalaya. Leiden: Brill. Pp. 88-128.
Wettstein, Marion. 2021. “Drawing Away the Ostensible Boundary Between Science and Art”. In: Diana Lange, Jarmila Ptáčková, Marion Wettstein, and Marieke Wulff (eds.), Crossing Boundaries: Tibetan Stuides Unlimited. Prague: Academia. Pp. 383-405.
Wettstein, Marion. 2019  “YouTube and the Rising Trend for Indigenous Folk Dance: The Case of the Sakela Dance of the Rai in Nepal and their Diasporas.” In: M. Schleiter & E. de Maaker, Media, Indigeneity and Nation in South Asia. London etc.: Routledge. Pp. 213-228.
Wettstein, Marion. 2018  “Dancing Who We Are: The Embodiment of Rai Ethnic Identity in Sakela Performance”. In: Social Science Baha: Conference Proceedings 2012: The Annual Kathmandu Conference on Nepal and the Himalaya. Kathmandu: Social Science Baha. Pp. 271-293.
Wettstein, Marion. 2016  “How ethnic identity becomes real: The enactment of identity roles and the material manifestation of shifting identities among the Nagas”. Asian Ethnicity 17 (3): 384-399. Online 23 Oct. 2015: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14631369.2015.1091653
Wettstein, Marion. 2014  Naga Textiles: Design, Technique, Meaning and Effect of a Local Craft Tradition in Northeast India. Stuttgart: Arnoldsche Art Publishers. 
Wettstein, Marion. 2013  “Fashion Zeitgeist in Northeast India”. In: Tereza Kuldova (ed.), Fashion India: Spectacular Capitalism. Oslo: Akademika forlag. Pp. 73-88.
Wettstein, Marion and Alban von Stockhausen. 2013. “Contesting Power, Negotiating Influence: Rai Shamans and New Religious Movements in Eastern Nepal”. In: Davide Torri and Diana Riboli (eds), Shamanism and Violence. Surrey/Burlington: Ashgate Publishers. Pp. 103-118.
Wettstein, Marion. 2012  “Origin and Migration Myths in the Rhetoric of Naga Independence and Collective Identity”. In: Toni Huber and Stuart Blackburn (eds), Origins and Migrations in the Extended Eastern Himalayas. Leiden, Boston: Brill. Pp. 213-238.
Michael Oppitz, Thomas Kaiser, Alban von Stockhausen and Marion Wettstein (eds). 2008. Naga Identitäten: Zeitenwende einer Lokalkultur im Nordosten Indiens. (English edition: Naga Identities: Changing Cultures in the Northeast of India.) Gent: Snoeck.