Galen Murton


Assistant Professor, GS
Contact Info

I am a human geographer with broad research and teaching interests in the politics of international development. My current project examines the social and geopolitical implications of infrastructure development across the Himalayan borderlands of High Asia. I also study the local impacts of international aid in post-disaster landscapes. I like to conduct fieldwork with my students in the mountain ranges of Asia as well as the Appalachians.

  • Ph.D., Geography, University of Colorado Boulder
  • M.A., International Relations, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University
  • B.A., Religion, Middlebury College
Scholarly Interests/Research Topics
  • Cultural Geography
  • Geopolitics
  • Development Studies
  • Critical Cartography
  • Infrastructure
  • Disaster
  • Borders
  • Trade
  • Theory
  • Tibetan and Himalayan Studies
Courses Taught
  • Geography 305: History and Philosophy of Geography 
  • Geography 344: Globalization and Development
  • Geography 380: Cultural Geography
  • Geography 470: Critical Cartography
  • Membership Chair, Executive Council, Association for Nepal and Himalayan Studies (current)
  • Governing Board Member, Political Geography Specialty Group, American Association of Geographers
  • Development, direction, and risk management for international study abroad programs (India, China/Tibet, Bhutan, and Nepal: 2005-2013)
  • Instructor for Hurricane Island Outward Bound School/Outward Bound USA (2005-2008)
Research Affiliations

Select Publications
  • Murton, G. and A. Lord. Forthcoming. “Trans-Himalayan Power Corridors: Infrastructural Politics and China’s Belt and Road Initiative in Nepal.’ Political Geography (Special Issue: China’s BRI: Views from the Ground)
  • Murton, G. 2019. “Facing the Fence: The Production and Performance of a Himalayan Border in Global Contexts.” Political Geography 72: 31-42. DOI: 10.1016/j.polgeo.2019.03.001
  • Murton, G. 2017. “Bordering Spaces, Practising Borders: Infrastructure, Commerce, and State Institutionalization across the Nepal-China Borderlands.” South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies40 (April). DOI: 10.1080/00856401.2017.1292616
  • Murton, G. 2017. “Making Mountain Places into State Spaces: Infrastructure, Consumption, and Territorial Practice in a Himalayan Borderland.” Annals of the American Association of Geographers107(2): 526-545. DOI: 10.1080/24694452.2016.1232616
  • Murton, G., A. Lord and B. Beazley. 2016. “‘A Handshake across the Himalayas:’ Chinese Investment, Hydropower Development, and State Formation in Nepal.” Eurasian Geography and Economics, 57(3) (October): 403-432. DOI: 1080/15387216.2016.1236349
  • Murton, G. 2016. “Photo Essay: A Himalayan Border Trilogy: The Political Economies of Transport Infrastructure and Disaster Relief between China and Nepal.” Cross-Currents: East Asian Culture and History Review eJournal,(18) March 2016. Available at

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