A. B. Lord Fellow, 2016
The Center for Studies in Oral Tradition is pleased to announce the fourth A.B. Lord Fellow in Oral Tradition, Dr. Margaret Lyngdoh, a Junior Researcher at the Department of Estonian and Comparative Folklore, University of Tartu, Estonia. Margaret received her MA and BA degrees in English and Commonwealth Literature from the North Eastern Hills University, Shillong, India. As a member of the Khasi ethnic community in North Eastern India, Margaret’s research partially culminated in the defense of her primary fieldwork-based dissertation entitled, “Transformation, Tradition and Lived Reality: Vernacular Belief Worlds of the Khasis of Northeastern India” (2016), which sought to document and analyze the supernatural traditions and “dark folklore” practices within her own community. She examined how marginalized genres of folklore express themselves in, and are related to, socio-psychological tensions in the Khasi community. Through her research she found it possible to deconstruct and unravel stereotypes through research and documentation. In 2013, she carried out fieldwork and made a documentary film about the Chomangkan death ritual of the Karbi ethnic community. Her publications include, “The Vanishing Hitchhiker in Shillong: Khasi Belief Narratives and Violence Against Women” (2012); “On Wealth and Jealousy among the Khasis: Thlen, Demonization and the Other” (2015); “Tiger–Transformation within the Khasi Community of Northeastern India: Belief Worlds and Shifting Realities” (forthcoming), and “Dealing with the Dead: Vernacular Belief Negotiations Among the Khasis of North Eastern India” (forthcoming). Her current research explores the topics of magic practices and divine possession among the Khasis.