Dr. Katharine Rankin

My research spans the ‘economic’ and ‘socio-cultural’ sub-disciplines of Geography and Planning, especially as they have been contoured by insights from political economy, feminist theory and post-colonial studies. It has contributed broadly to scholarship on market and state formation through a focus on attendant processes of social change and a commitment to ethnographic approaches.

I am seeking motivated students interested in applying to the MA or Ph.D. programs in Geography or Planning to work with me on a research project on state restructuring in Nepal. In my own work, this research involves community-based collaborations in mountain, mid-hill and Terai regions of Nepal, with a special focus on road building and infrastructure development as contested political fields. I am interested in supervising qualified students who would like to work on related themes in Nepal or other geographical contexts. There are some research assistantships available through the SSHRC Insight Grant funding this project. More details about the project can be found at https://infrastructuresofdemocracy.wordpress.com/.


1999 Ph.D., City and Regional Planning with minors in Anthropology and Women’s Studies, Cornell University.
Dissertation title: The Cultural Politics of Markets: Economic Liberalization and the Challenge for Social Planning in Nepal
Supervisor: Susan Christopherson; Women’s Studies: Lourdes Benería; Anthropology: Kathryn S. March

1995 M.R.P., City and Regional Planning, Cornell University

1987 B. A. Anthropology with minor in Women’s Studies, Cornell University. Magna Cum Laude.