Mark Turin

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Mark Turin
Mark Turin lecturing.jpg
Mark Turin lecturing at Dartmouth College, February 2013
Born (1973-10-27) 27 October 1973 (age 43)
London, United Kingdom
Alma mater University of Cambridge, B.A.
Leiden University, PhD
Occupation linguist, anthropologist, broadcaster
Known for Director, Digital Himalaya, World Oral Literature Project, Yale Himalaya Initiative and presenting on BBC Radio
Home town Vancouver, BC, Canada

Mark Turin (born 1973) is a British anthropologist, linguist and broadcaster of Italo-Dutch origin who specialises in the Himalayas and the Pacific Northwest. He serves as Chair of the First Nations and Endangered Languages Program and Acting Co-Director of the Institute for Critical Indigenous Studies at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. He is Associate Professor of Anthropology and director of the Digital Himalaya Project.


After completing his undergraduate studies in Anthropology and Archaeology with First Class Honours from the University of Cambridge (1995), Turin prepared a grammatical description and lexicon of the previously undocumented Thangmi (Thami) language spoken in Nepal and northern India for his doctoral research through the Himalayan Languages Project at the University of Leiden. From May 2007 until May 2008, he served as Chief of the Translation and Interpretation Unit in the United Nations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN).

Turin continues to direct the Digital Himalaya Project, which he co-established in December 2000, based jointly the University of Cambridge and the University of British Columbia. In 2009, he established up the World Oral Literature Project supporting the documentation and preservation of oral literatures and endangered cultural traditions, affiliated to the University of Cambridge Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. Turin was elected to a Fellowship at Hughes Hall, Cambridge in March 2011 and made a Quondam Fellow in March 2014.

From August 2011 to June 2014, Turin held the posts of Lecturer and Associate Research Scientist, and the founding Program Director of the Yale Himalaya Initiative at the MacMillan Center for International & Area Studies, Yale University. From 2013, together with Sienna Craig, he has served as Editor of Himalaya, the Journal of the Association for Nepal and Himalayan Studies. His BBC Radio 4 series entitled Our Language in Your Hands on linguistic diversity and language endangerment in Nepal, South Africa and New York aired in December 2012; and his second series On Language Location on the linguistic landscape of Bhutan and Burma/Myanmar aired in October 2014 on BBC Radio 4 and in March 2015 on the BBC World Service.



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