Mary Des Chene is an anthropologist. She previously taught at the University of British Columbia and Bryn Mawr College and now devotes her time to research, writing and various activities to promote serious intellectual debate and study of pressing problems in Nepal. Her research has included study of the history of Gurkha soldiery from the early 19th century to the present, Gurung/Tamu ethics and cooperative community practices, post-1990 Tamu debates about cultural preservation and promotion and the place of Tamu society in the Nepali state, and (presently) Panchayat-era state cultural politics. She is an editor of the journal Studies in Nepali History and Society, member of a collective that organizes the weekly Martin Chautari discussion series in Kathmandu, and organizer of a microfilm project to film the contents of Madan Puraskar Library in Lalitpur, Nepal, to preserve and make accessible to researchers and the general public the bulk of material published in Nepali. She is also involved in several translation projects -- of progressive Nepali literature into English, and of useful English materials into Nepali.