Austin Lord


Austin Lord is a PhD Student of Sociocultural Anthropology whose research interests include disaster and aftermath, the political ecology of infrastructure development, anticipation and futurity, the conceptualization of risk and resilience, and the lived experience of uncertainty and environmental change in Nepal. His scholarship has been published in a variety of academic journals, including Economic Anthropology; Modern Asian Studies; Eurasian Geography and Economics; Himalaya: The Journal of the Association for Nepal and Himalayan Studies;and Limn.

Austin’s dissertation research at Cornell will analyze the re-enactment of imagined futures in post-earthquake Nepal, investigating the ways that development agendas focused on hydropower development, Nepal-China connectivity, environmental governance, tourism, and resilience are entangled with lived experiences of post-disaster recovery in the north-central district of Rasuwa.

Prior to joining Cornell, Austin has worked as a research consultant for a variety of organizations, including the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), and Lutheran World Relief. In the wake of the 2015 Nepal earthquake, Austin served for two years as the Director of a volunteer initiative named Rasuwa Relief.

Austin holds a Master of Environmental Science (MESc) from Yale University and a B.A. in Economics and Studio Art from Dartmouth College. He has received a U.S Fulbright Scholarship and a U.S. Foreign Language & Area Studies Fellowship, among other awards. A collection of his visual ethnographic work can be found at