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Assistant Prof. Tina Shrestha


Tina Shrestha has a PhD in Anthropology from Cornell University. She is a researcher at the Waseda Institute for Advanced Study, Waseda University. She is author of Surviving the Sanctuary City: Asylum-Seeking Work in Nepali New York (University of Washington Press, 2023). Her research focuses on global politics of asylum, migration infrastructure, inter-Asian mobility governance, and social inequality. Her work has been translated into Nepali and Japanese.

Research Projects

  • 2020-2024. (Co-PI) on JSPS Kaken 令和2(2020)年度 基盤研究(B)(一般) Reconstructing the geographies by movement of people: Nepal area study beyond national borders of Nepal.”

  • JSPS Early-Career Scientists award for "Migration infrastructure and Nepali student-migration to Japan," 2019-2021, PI, brief description: The project is an ethnographically grounded approach to understanding the contemporary migration from Nepal to Japan. The focus is on the collaborative role of the state and private institutions, including educational consultancies, language institutions, and government-initiated training programs, organizing, regulating, and ultimately facilitating Nepali outmigration to Japan.


  • 2022 “Casualties of infrastructural re-construction: Nepali student-migrants, suspended mobility, and the COVID-19 pandemic governance in Japan,” Invited workshop on “Infrastructures and Im(mobile) lives: interruptions, failures, and repairs.” Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore, Feb. 21-22

  • 2021 “Credibility, claimant-testimony, and the frame(s) of victimhood in the US asylum process,” Executive Session on ‘Truth, Responsibility, and Accountability in Asylum Engagements: Refugee Epistemology and Fugitive Anthropology,’ American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting, Baltimore, November 18- 22.


  • Shrestha, Tina. Infrastructural mediation and vulnerability in Nepal-Malaysia labor migration (Current Anthropology, forthcoming)

  • Shrestha, Tina. 2023. Surviving the Sanctuary City: Asylum-Seeking Work in Nepali New York (University of Washington Press, 2023-- Shelley Fisher Fishkin Book Prize honorable mention). Interviewed by the New Books Network Podcast:

  • Shrestha, Tina. 2022.  “Educational aspirations and labor of Nepali students in Japan” [ネパール人留学生の進学希望と就労] Special Issue Chiri: Japanese Journal of Geography, March, Vol. 67.

  • Shrestha, Tina. 2022 “Nepali: outmigration and the evolving diaspora.” In Languages of Japan: Communities and Cultures. John Maher, ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • Shrestha, Tina. 2020. “आकांक्षिक पूर्वाधार: नेपालमा दैनिक दलाली र वैदेशिक रोजगार व्यवसायी संस्थाहरू,” Samaj Adhyayan, 14: 25-50.

  • Shrestha, Tina. 2019. [Nepali translation] “Aspirational Infrastructure: Everyday brokerage and the foreign employment-recruitment agencies in Nepal,”Samaj Adhayan, Vol. 14.

  • Shrestha, Tina. 2019. “Asylum-seeking, precariousness, and the making claimant-workers,” Anthropology of Work Review, 40 (1).

  • Shrestha, Tina. 2018. "Aspirational Infrastructure: Everyday brokerage and foreign-employment recruitment agencies in Nepal." Pacific Affairs 91 (4): 675-695. 

  • Shrestha, Tina (co-edited with Brenda S.A. Yeoh). 2018. “Introduction: Practices of Brokerage and the Making of Migration Infrastructures in Asia." Pacific Affairs 91 (4): 665-674.

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