In order to join virtual sessions, you must be registered and logged-in(Were you registered for the in-person meeting in Denver? if yes, just log in.) 
Note: All session times are in Mountain Daylight Time.

Nepal and Himalayan Geography Group I: Roundtable - Decolonizing Nepal and Himalayan Geographies

Type: Panel
Sponsor Groups:
Organizers: Galen Murton
Chairs: Galen Murton


This panel session brings together geographers working in Nepal and the Himalaya to discuss current research projects and collaborative opportunities in relation to questions of development, environment, geopolitics, and culture. The aim is to provide a platform for coordinating and galvanizing geographic scholarship in the region and to forge and sustain supportive networks that connect junior and established scholars across diverse specializations and institutional locations.

This year, we are particularly interested in creating space to discuss regionally situated strategies for decolonizing geographical scholarship. The last decade or so has seen growing concern within the discipline about the need to decolonize research methodologies and modes of theoretical engagement (De Leeuw & Hunt, 2018; Sundberg, 2014; Robinson, 2003; Sidaway, 2000). In physical geography and cognate disciplines, we have also seen diverse efforts to pursue feminist and anti-colonial science (Liboiron et al., 2018; Carey et al., 2016; Lave et al., 2014; Bracken & Mawdsley, 2004), alongside calls for decolonizing climate change research and discourses of the Anthropocene (Gergan et al., 2018; Whyte, 2017, 2018; Ojha et al., 2016; Nightingale, 2016; Yeh, 2016). In Nepal and the Himalaya, scholars across diverse fields of study are similarly using the language of decolonization and making important contributions to these debates (e.g. Gergan, 2018; Thapa, Akpovo & Young, 2017; Dhungana & Yamphu, 2016; Subedi, 2006). Such work builds on long-standing critiques of the colonial legacies and uneven power structures undergirding academic institutions and practice in the region.

Topics for discussion might include (but are certainly not limited to):

• Strategies for fostering and sustaining collaborative, decolonizing academic cultures in and beyond Nepal
• The role that scholars play in decolonizing and/or colonizing projects in Nepal and the Himalaya
• Strategies for decolonizing geography curricula and classrooms across local-global scales
• The uneven political economy/material relations of research and academic scholarship historically and today
• Place-based reflections on the politics of the language of “decolonization” in Nepal and Himalaya contexts
• Normative roles (or not) of geographers in decolonizing Nepali and Himalayan politics

Please contact Elsie Lewison (, Galen Murton ( and Katharine Rankin ( for more information.

Bracken, L. & Mawdsley, E. (2004). ‘Muddy glee’: rounding out the picture of women and physical geography fieldwork. Area, 36(3): 280-286.

Carey, M. Jackson, M. Antonello, A. & Rushing, J. (2016). Glaciers, gender, and science: A feminist glaciology framework for global environmental change research. Progress in Human Geography, 40(6): 770-793.

De Leeuw, S., & Hunt, S. (2018). Unsettling decolonizing geographies. Geography Compass, 12(7), e12376.

Dhungana, R. K., & Yamphu, I. M. R. (2016). Indigenous Ways of Knowing in Nepal: Exploring Indigenous Research Procedures in Shamanism. Journal of Indigenous Social Development Volume, 5(1).

Gergan, M. D. (2017). Living with earthquakes and angry deities at the Himalayan borderlands. Annals of the American Association of Geographers, 107(2), 490-498.

Gergan, M., Smith, S., & Vasudevan, P. (2018). Earth beyond repair: Race and apocalypse in collective imagination. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 0263775818756079.

Lave, R., Wilson, M. W., Barron, E. S., Biermann, C., Carey, M. A., Duvall, C. S., ... & Pain, R. (2014). Intervention: Critical physical geography. The Canadian Geographer/Le Géographe Canadien, 58(1), 1-10.

Liboiron, M. (n.d.). Civic Laboratory for Environmental Action Research (CLEAR)

Ojha, H. R., Ghimire, S., Pain, A., Nightingale, A., Khatri, D. B., & Dhungana, H. (2016). Policy without politics: technocratic control of climate change adaptation policy making in Nepal. Climate Policy, 16(4), 415-433.

Nightingale, A. J. (2016). Adaptive scholarship and situated knowledges? Hybrid methodologies and plural epistemologies in climate change adaptation research. Area, 48(1), 41-47.

Robinson, J. (2003). Postcolonising Geography: Tactics and Pitfalls. Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography, 24(3): 273-289.

Sidaway, J. (2000). Postcolonial Geographies: An Exploratory Essay. Progress in Human Geography, 24(4): 591-612.

Subedi, B. (2006). Theorizing a ‘halfie’ researcher’s identity in transnational fieldwork. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 19(5), 573-593.

Sundberg, J. (2014). Decolonizing posthumanist geographies. cultural geographies, 21(1), 33-47.

Thapa, S., Akpovo, S. M., & Young, D. (2017). Collaboration as a healing and decolonizing research tool: The narratives of three early childhood researchers. In Collaborative cross-cultural research methodologies in early care and education contexts (pp. 63-78). Routledge.

Whyte, K. (2017). Indigenous climate change studies: Indigenizing futures, decolonizing the Anthropocene. English Language Notes, 55(1), 153-162.

Whyte, K. P. (2018). Indigenous science (fiction) for the Anthropocene: Ancestral dystopias and fantasies of climate change crises. Environment and Planning E: Nature and Space, 1(1-2), 224-242.

Yeh, E. (2016). How can experience of local residents be “knowledge”?’ Challenges in interdisciplinary climate change research. Area 48(1), 34-40


Type Details Minutes
Discussant Mabel Gergan Florida State University 5
Discussant Tashi Gurung Arizona State University 5
Discussant Sara H. Smith University of North Carolina 5
Discussant Nadine Plachta South Asia Institute 5
Discussant Sanjay Nepal University of Waterloo 5
Discussant Rupak Shrestha University of Colorado, Boulder 5
Discussant Andrea Nightingale Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences 5
Discussant Santosh Rijal Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University 5
Discussant Phurwa Gurung University of Colorado Boulder 5
Discussant Kripa Dongol University of Colorado At Boulder 5

To access contact information login