Teaching Assistant Professor
Center for Asian Studies


Dr. Shae Frydenlund is a human geographer who studies capitalist development from the perspective of displaced people. Funded by the National Science Foundation and Social Science Research Council, she is especially interested in how displaced women's labor underpins capitalism in Southeast Asia and the United States. Shae's current NSF research project examines racial capitalism in the United States food system by comparing the experiences of Burmese refugee meatpacking workers, indigenous migrant farm workers, and grocery store workers. Shae's newest project is a community-based study of the relationship between sustainable energy development and indigenous dispossession in Indonesia. Her research is published in Geopolitics, Political Geography, and Journal of Cultural Geography, among others. She earned her Ph.D. and M.A. in Geography from the University of Colorado Boulder, and a B.A. in Geography from Colgate University.

Research interests:

Labor, development, racial capitalism, gender, displacement, refugees, food systems, climate justice, Myanmar, Indonesia.

Selected publications:

Frydenlund, Shae. (2023). "Refugee-Ness and Exploitation: A Feminist Geography of Shitty Jobs." Geopolitics, online ahead of print. 

Frydenlund, Shae and Elizabeth Dunn. (2022). "Refugees and racial capitalism: meatpacking and the primitive accumulation of labor."  Political Geography95.

Frydenlund, Shae and Wai Wai Nu. (2022). “From Mutual Aid to Charity: Violence and women’s changing interethnic relationships in Rakhine State.” In Waves of Upheaval: Gendered Transformations and Political Transitions,” Edited by Jenny Hedstrom and Elizabeth Olivius. Copenhagen: NIAS Press.

Frydenlund, Shae and Shunn Lei. (2021). “Double Exclusions, Double Shifts: Muslim women’s work practices in Yangon, Myanmar.” Independent Journal of Burmese Scholarship, (1).

Frydenlund, Shae. (2020). “Motherhood, home, and the political economy of Rohingya
women’s labor.” In Unraveling Myanmar’s Transition: Progress, Retrenchment, and Ambiguity Amid Liberalisation. Edited by, Pavin Chachavalpongpun, Elliott Prasse-Freeman, and Patrick Strefford. Kyoto University Press.

Frydenlund, Shae. (2018). Situationally Sherpa: race, ethnicity, and the labour geography of the Everest industry. Journal of Cultural Geography36(1).