Robert Shepherd

Robert J. Shepherd

Visiting Associate Professor of International Affairs
1957 E Street, NW Suite 503
Phone: 202-994-6953
Fax: 202-994-6096

Areas of Expertise

Tourism, cultural heritage issues, side effects of market changes in China


Bob Shepherd holds a B.A. in political science and history from the University of Delaware, an M.A. in history from Northeastern University, and a Ph.D. in Cultural Studies from George Mason University. He began to teach courses at George Washington University in 2003, and was appointed an Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Honors in 2006. Before this, Dr. Shepherd spent two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in rural Nepal, three years teaching at a United Nations educational training institute in Beijing, China, and two years helping design and implement a national technical training program in Java, Indonesia. He has also led study-abroad programs to China and Tibet, and worked with the University of Virginia's "Semester at Sea" program.

Dr. Shepherd's work on tourism, cultural heritage issues, and the side effects of market changes in China has appeared inSoutheast Asia Research, Consumption, Markets, and Culture,, the International Journal of Cultural Studies, and the Journal of Contemporary Asia, among other publications. His book, When Culture Goes to the Market: The Politics of Space, Place and Identity in an Urban Marketplace (Peter Lang) was published in 2008.

His current research analyzes the construction and development of a UNESCO-supported World Heritage site at Mount Wutai, China, while his broader research examines the political, economic and social foundations of the world heritage process, in particular how this impacts local communities. For the past four years (2007-2010), Professor Shepherd has organized and led GW summer study-abroad programs to China, jointly sponsored by the University Honors Program and Department of Anthropology.


Ph.D., George Mason University

Classes Taught

ANTH 3501 Development Anthropology

ANTH 3513 Anthropology of Human Rights

ANTH 3705 East Asian Ethnography

ANTH 6302 Anthropology of Tourism

HONR 1015 Honors Proseminar: University Writing 1020: Origins and Evolution of Modern Thought

HONR 1016 Honors Proseminar: Origins and Evolution of Modern Thought

HONR 2047-48 Social Science Seminar: Honors Proseminar: Social and Behavioral Sciences