Sujit Shrestha

Cohort: 2010


  • BS, Anthropology, Colby College
  • MA, Anthropology, Emory University


Sujit Shrestha is completing his Ph.D. in Anthropology (expected May 2018) and is an Emory Graduate Diversity Fellow at the Laney Graduate School.

His work focuses on the politics of urbanization in small-scale cities of the global south. In particular, his work investigates the interactions between marginalized urban groups, governmental agencies, political parties, NGOs, and international organizations as each of them produce and negotiate complex local, regional, and global effects of rapid urbanization. He explores how particular framings of urbanization have emerged in the context of the global south, and how such framings have, in turn, effected particular developmental (and bureaucratic) interventions that have legitimized certain political practices while constricting others. His work lies at the cusp of political anthropology, development anthropology, human geography, urban anthropology, and urban planning and theory.

Between June 2013 and December 2016, with generous funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF-DDRIG), Social Science Research Council (SSRC-IDRF), and Emory University (Anthropology Summer Pilot Research Grant and Laney Travel Grant) he has conducted ethnographic fieldwork in Nepal and India. While the bulk of his fieldwork has been located in Kathmandu, Nepal, his Ph.D. research also spans other parts of the country including cities such as Kohalpur, Dharan, Nuwakot, and a range of emerging municipalities along the East-West highway that cuts latitudinally across Nepal. In addition, he also participated in programs and activities organized by Slum Dwellers’ International network in Mumbai, thereby expanding the regional scope of his work.

Between 2014 and 2016 he was the co-organizer and discussion facilitator of Urbanization Discussion Series hosted by Martin Chautari, an independent research institute based in Kathmandu. This discussion series was geared to provide an open, public forum for discussion and dialogues between a range of people and institutions including urban planners, government bureaucrats, NGOs, scholars, politicians, and community-based organizations concerning various aspects of urbanization.

Between January and July of 2016, he worked as a consultant and lead researcher for The Asia Foundation in Kathmandu, focusing on comparative experiences of particular marginalized urban groups in negotiating sites and services from governmental and non-governmental agencies across four cities in Nepal. This work also explored the dynamics of emerging informal land relations and negotiations between displaced peoples’ informal settlements and a range of governmental as well as nongovernmental agencies in the wake of the Great Earthquakes that shook the region in the spring of 2015.

At Emory, he has worked as a Teaching Assistant and Teaching Associate for the following courses: Introduction to Anthropology (ANT 101 with Dr. Bradd Shore), Concepts and Methods in Anthropology (ANT 202 with Dr. Jenny Chio), and Introduction to Development Studies (ANT 207/ AFS 270/ IDS 207 with Dr. Kristin Phillips).

Research Keywords: political anthropology, urban anthropology, development anthropology, urban planning and cities of the global south, subaltern studies, Himalayas, South Asia.

Advisor: Dr. Nugent