Visiting Assistant Professor
Political geography, visual methodologies, borders, sovereignty, memory
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I am a political geographer interested in teaching and researching about borders, sovereignty, placemaking, memory, and Indigeneity. I am a qualitative and visual researcher who applies ethnographic methodologies and sensibilities in understanding how peoples and communities understand and give meaning to the place around them. I study how people are rendered powerless through state mechanisms and the ways in which they counteract the bordering of their bodies.
I was introduced to the wonderful worlds of Geography and the social sciences at St. Cloud State University, where I completed a B.A in Geography, Tourism, and GIS. I pursued a M.A. in Geography at Miami University (Ohio) with emphasis on seasonal labor migration. I then completed a Ph.D. in Geography at the University of Colorado Boulder, during which period I conducted NSF grant-funded research in Nepal among Tibetan and Indigenous Himalayan communities on questions of belonging, surveillance, and memory.
I plan to extend this research by ethnographically studying Walungnga and Tibetan refugee mobilities across multiple borderlands in South Asia and in the United States. By underlining diaspora as a critical scale of analysis, I plan to study how transnational mobilities are met with challenges, complications, and contradictions of global and local citizenship. I am interested in understanding how community belonging and organizing creates just futures in the diaspora in response to the global rise in nationalist identity politics.
I grew up in Nepal but identify various places and spaces around the world as my home. I am excited to be in Minnesota, which is my first home in the United States. I bike, run, cook, and take photographs.
GEOG 294-04: Political Geographies of South Asia
GEOG 394-01: Visual Storytelling
GEOG 294-04: Indigenous Futures
GEOG 294-02: Borders and Belonging
GEOG 111: Human Geography of Global Issues
2022. Shrestha, Rupak. “Affective borderings: Sovereignty and Tibetan refugee placemaking at the Nepal/China borderlands”. Political Geography. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.polgeo.2022.102764
2022. Shrestha, Rupak, and Jennifer Fluri. “Geopolitics of security and surveillance in Nepal and Afghanistan: A comparative analysis”. Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space. https://doi.org/10.1177/23996544221115952
2021. Shrestha, Rupak, and Jennifer Fluri. “Geopolitics of Humour and Development in Nepal and Afghanistan”. In The Palgrave Handbook of Humour Research, edited by Elisabeth Vanderheiden and Claude-Hélène Mayer. Palgrave Macmillan. 189-203. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-78280-1_10
2021. Shrestha, Rupak. Book Review of Geocultural Power: China’s Quest to Revive the Silk Roads for the Twenty-First Century, by Tim Winter. Eurasian Geography and Economics. https://doi.org/10.1080/15387216.2021.1894966