Rupak Shrestha
Ph.D. Student of Geography • Development Geography • Political Geography • Nepal • Faculty Advisor: Jennifer Fluri
Human Geography


I will graduate with my PhD Summer 2021. I am interested in both academia and non-academia. 

I am broadly trained in Human Geography. Through extensive experience in research and teaching while at CU-Boulder, I am currently applying to tenure-track Human Geography, International/Global Studies, and Asian Studies positions in the US and elsewhere. On the side, I am also training myself through professional certificate programs in Project Management and UX Research/Design to prepare for careers in non-academia particularly in nonprofits or in industry research. I have uploaded my resume below. Please get in touch if you want the longer CV.

Research Interests

I research primarily questions of sovereignty, territory, power/violence, nationalism, (im)mobilites, and placemaking. I am interested in understanding how certain populations are rendered powerless through state mechanisms, and in the ways in which the powerless navigate, counteract, and resist the dispossession of their bodies, land, and memory. I engage with visual methodologies (photography and film) that create possibilities for different ways of seeing and knowing about (being in) the world.

My dissertation research examines how Chinese extra-territorial sovereignty in Nepal produces new modes of Tibetan refugee subjectivities. Despite attempts by Nepal and China to restrict Tibetan engagement in political life, I investigate how Tibetans negotiate policing and surveillance through everyday mobilities, circumambulation, place making, and memory. In Boudha, the Nepali state has politicized everyday Tibetan practices that has intensified ethnic contestations over place making for Tibetans in Boudha. The primary questions for this dissertation ask: (1) How do the seemingly banal, everyday, and gendered practices of Tibetan nationalism and place making in Boudha reveal the messy intricacies of Chinese extra-territorial politics of development in Nepal? (2) How does Chinese extra-territorial sovereignty and Nepali ethnic nationalism produce Tibetan refugee subjectivities? (3) How does place based identity politics and Nepali ethnic nationalism produce contestations over Boudha between Tibetan refugees and members of other ethnic groups?



Academic Service:

  • Executive Committee Member, Association of Nepal and Himalayan Studies, Jan 2018 - Present
  • AAG Political Geography Specialty Group Student Board Member, May 2020 - Present
  • Graduate Coordinator, Tibet Himalaya Initiative, CU, Aug 2016 - Sept 2017; Jan 2019 - Present
  • Editorial Advisory Board Member, International Journal of Bhutan and Himalaya Research, 2019-Present