UCL Anthropology


Ulrike Cokl


Email: ulrike.cokl.10@ucl.ac.uk
Year of start: 2011
Subject: Social Anthropology

Research Topic/ Provisional Dissertation Title

Cultural Hospitality Practices, Tourism and the Economy of Relationships in Bhutan. A View from a Bhutanese Village.


Prof. David Napier
Dr. Joe Calabrese
Prof. Geoffrey Samuel (Cardiff)


In my PhD-research, I am interested in the role of hospitality within the economy of relationships in Bhutan. More precisely I want to study the role of cultural hospitality practices for the everyday production of politics in Bhutanese villages (from large scale rituals and receptions to small scale visits). Furthermore I am interested in how such cultural hospitality practices are reworked for tourism purpose, in particular within home/farm-stay settings. In Bhutan I am affiliated with the College of Natural Resources (CNR) at the Royal University of Bhutan (RUB).

Research interests

  • Anthropology of Bhutan and the Himalayas
  • Buddhism and society (Gross National Happiness in Bhutan)
  • Social anthropology (kinship, cultures of relatedness, economy of relationships, the production of everyday politics)
  • Economic anthropology (cosmoeconomics, gift giving)
  • Cultural hospitality and hosting practices
  • Ethnography
  • Change and continuities, development & modernisation
  • Intangible heritage
  • Tourism (Community Based Tourism, farmstay/homestay tourism)

Academic Background/Education

2008: Maga. Phil. (MA) Social and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Vienna, Austria, Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology

Major subject: Social and Cultural Anthropology

Minor Subjects: Indology, Political Science, Spanish, Theatre Studies and Applied Development Studies

Honours and Awards

2009: Conference participation grant ("Graduiertenförderung GSK - Internationale Mobilität und wissenschaftlicher Austausch") from the Austrian Federal Ministry of Science and Research for conference organisation in September 2009 (ICTAM VII, www.iastam.org)

2005: Field research grant for MA-research in Bhutan from the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Vienna, Austria


Recipient of a DOC-fellowship of the Austrian Academy of Sciences