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UHP LogoGeorge Washington University
University Honors Program
714 21st Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20052
Phone: (202) 994-6816
Fax: (202) 994-0842
About the Site

Robert Shepherd

Assistant Professor, Honors, Anthropology, & International Affairs

Office: 2110 G Street NW, Room 303
Phone: 202-994-4395

Dr. Shepherd has served in the Peace Corps in rural Nepal and worked on United Nations Development Program projects in China and Indonesia. He has previously taught at George Mason University's Institute for Educational Transformation (IET), Beijing International Studies University, and Chung Hsing University in Taiwan. He regularly leads summer field programs to China for UHP students.


Dr. Shepherd's research interests are Chinese culture and society, international development, tourism, the moral framework of marketplace behavior, and the politics of cultural heritage. He recently finished a book on the historical role of the concept of paradise in Euro-American travel practices and is currently writing a book on the impact of world heritage status on the Buddhist pilgrimage of Mount Wutai, China.


PhD. 2002, George Mason University
M.A. 1983, Northeastern University
B.A. 1980, University of Delaware

Selected Publications:


(2111) Partners in Paradise: Tourism Practices, Heritage Policies, and Anthropological Sites (New York & Berlin: Pete Lang).

(2010) The People's Dynasty: Culture and Society in Modern China. New York: Modern Scholar Audio Books.

(2008). When Culture Goes to Market: Space, Place and Identity in an Urban Marketplace. New York: Peter Lang.

Book Chapters:

(2011). "Shaping Heritage to Serve Development: Bureaucratic Conflict & Local Agency at Two Chinese Heritage Sites" in Sarah Lyon & Christian Wells (eds.) Contested Economies: Global Tourism and Cultural Heritage. Lanham, MD: Alta Mira Press, 87-117.

(2009). "I Bought this at Eastern Market: Vending, Value and Social Relations in an Urban Street Market" in Donald Wood (ed.), Economic Development, Integration, and Morality in Asia and the Americas, Annual Review of Economic Anthropology, Volume 29. London: Emerald Publishing, 381-406.

(2008). "Cultural Preservation, Tourism, and 'Donkey Travel' on China's Frontier" in T.C. Chang and Tim Winter (eds.), Asia on Tour: The Rise of the Asian Tourist. London: Routledge Press, 253-263.


(2011) "Historicity, Fieldwork, and the Allure of the Post-Modern:  A Reply to Ryan and Gu." Tourism Management (32), 187-190.

(2010) "Global Tourism Flows, Social Change and China". Anthropology News 51:8 (November 2010), 1

(2009). "Cultural Heritage, UNESCO, and the Chinese State: Whose Heritage and for Whom?" Special Issue, Heritage Management 2:1, 55-79.

(2007). "A Perpetual Unease or Being at Ease? Daoism, Derrida, and the Metaphysics of Presence." Philosophy East & West 57:2, 227-243.

(2006). "UNESCO & the Politics of Cultural Heritage in Tibet." Journal of Contemporary Asia 36:2, 243-257.

(2005). "Age of the Law's End: Falun Gong and the Cultivation of Modernity in Post-Maoist China" International Journal of Cultural Studies 8:4, 387-404.

(2003). "Fieldwork without Remorse: Travel Desires in a Tourist World." Consumption, Markets & Culture 6:2, 133-144.

(2002). "From the Temple to the Market: Tourism, Commodification, and Culture." Tourist Studies 2:2, 183-201.

(2002). "A Green and Sumptuous Garden: Authenticity, Hybridity, and the Bali Tourism Project." South East Asia Research 10:1, 63-97.