Smithsonian Journeys Experts

Robert Shepherd

photo of Robert Shepherd

Robert Shepherd is a visiting associate professor of international affairs at George Washington University in Washington, DC, where he teaches courses on international development, human rights and ethics, contemporary Chinese society, and environmentalism. He is also editor of the journal Critical Asian Studies and an area studies course coordinator for the U.S. State Department’s Foreign Service Institute. Before becoming a professor, Dr. Shepherd spent two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Dipayal,  Nepal, three years teaching at a United Nations training institute in Beijing, China, and two years helping design and implement a national technical training program on Java, Indonesia. He has also led study-abroad programs to China and Tibet for George Mason University and George Washingtion University, worked with the "Semester at Sea" program, and conducted field research in rural Nepal and China. Dr. Shepherd's articles on the interactions of culture and tourism, cultural heritage issues, and international development has appeared in various publications, most recently the International Journal of Cultural Policy, the Journal of Contemporary Asia, and Annals of Tourism Research. He is the author or co-author of four books, including Faith in Heritage: Displacement, Development, and Religious Tourism in Contemporary China (Left Coast Press, 2013) and Heritage Management, Tourism and Governance in China (with Dr. Larry Yu; Springer Press, 2012). His most recent book is an edited volume entitled,  Cosmopolitanism and Tourism: Rethinking Theory and Practice (Lexington Press, 2018).