Lord, Austin: Travel Grant - 2017-2018

College of Arts and Sciences
Project Title: 
The Power Corridor: Disaster Recovery, Energy Security, and Local Elections in Post-Earthquake Nepal
Project Abstract: 
Nepal’s current historical moment is defined by three ongoing transformations: the uncertain process of post-disaster recovery in the wake of the 2015 earthquakes, a massive energy transition defined by the pursuit of ‘energy security’ through hydropower development, and a complex process of political restructuring prompted by the arrival of the Constitution of Nepal in late 2015. As past research indicates, all three of these transformations are highly contested at a variety of scales. My ongoing research focuses on the intersection of these three future-making projects in the district of Rasuwa, an area that was ‘severely-affected’ by the 2015 earthquakes and that is often referred to as a ‘power corridor’ (due to the rapid pace of hydropower development and increased trans-boundary Nepal-China connectivity and trade). To continue this work, I plan to return to Rasuwa in late 2017 to conduct ethnographic field research on the interactional effects of post-disaster recovery projects, infrastructure development, and pending local-level elections being planned for Oct/Nov 2017.