Research Interests: Heritage Discourses, Community Engagement, Participatory Processes, Heritage Education, Heritage Values and Authenticity, Ethnographic Approach in Heritage Research, Vernacular Architecture.
Neel Kamal Chapagain joined Centre for Heritage Management, Ahmedabad University in 2013 to develop the Master's program in Heritage Management, which eventually was launched in 2015. Previously he taught at University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (USA) as full-time teaching faculty and at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee as a Doctoral Teaching Assistant. His professional journey spans Nepal, Bhutan, India, and the United States. He has co-edited a book titled Asian Heritage Management: Contexts, Concerns and Prospects(Routledge, 2013). An executive member of ICOMOS Nepal, he also coordinates a publication series from Nepal titled Reflections on the Built Environment and Associated Practices, of which the first volume was published in 2013, the second volume in 2016, and the third volume is In Progress. He serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Heritage Management - second academic milestone of the Centre for Heritage Management following the launch of the Master's programme, and was conference chair for the inaugural edition of the International Conference on Heritage Management Education & Practice at Ahmedabad University. He is also a Visiting Fellow at the UNESCO Category 2 Centre on World Natural Heritage Management and Training at the Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun. He obtained his PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (USA), where his dissertation focused on rethinking cultural heritage conservation at traditional settlements. He also has an Architecture Doctorate and Graduate Certificate in Historic Preservation from the University of Hawaii at Manoa (USA), a professional conservation course at ICCROM in Italy, and B. Architecture from Institute of Engineering, Tribhuvan University, Nepal.
Nature-Culture Linkages in Heritage Discourses and Holistics Heritage Management Practices (as a part of Visiting Fellow at the UNESCO C2C on World Natural Heritage Management and Training for the Asia Pacific Region)
Critical Review of the World Heritage Nomination Processes (a 'talking point' is coming up in the Journal of Heritage Management, and the research is continued as independent research)
Heritage Management Education as a strategic tool for Sustainable Development (in the context of Post-2015 SDG agenda - Education for Sustainable Development of the United Nations); a preliminary draft paper presented at the International Conference on Education for Sustainable Development: Transforming youth and children', Centre for Environmental Educaiton, Ahmedabad, September 2016
Policy Framework for Emergency Response in Post-disaster situations: a review of policies and initiatives in Post-2015 earthquake in Nepal (preliminary research conducted through faculty development grant, Ahmedabad University)
‘Towards a Framework for Analyzing the Applicability and Adaptability of Traditional Knowledge Systems (as well as the Modern Knowledge Systems) in Heritage Management in Asia’; first draft presented at the ICCROM-CHA Forum on ‘Applicability and Adaptability of Traditional Knowledge Systems in Heritage Management in Asia', Bangkok, Thailand; (December 2015), to be finalized for an ICCROM publication
2016 Reflections on the Built Environment and Associated practices (Vol. 2), compiled by Neel Kamal Chapagain, with editorial assistance from Subik Kumar Shrestha and Kishan Datta Bhatta; Department of Architecture, Institute of Engineering, Tribhuvan University (Nepal);
2014 Reflections on the Built Environment and Associated Practices: Essays in Honor of Professor Sudarshan Raj Tiwari (compiled by Neel Kamal Chapagain); Department of Architecture, Institute of Engineering, Tribhuvan University (Nepal);
2013 Asian Heritage Management: Contexts, Concerns and Prospects; co-edited with Kapila D. Silva; Routledge, New York and London.
Upcoming Towards a Framework for Analyzing the Applicability and Adaptability of Traditional Knowledge Systems (as well as the Modern Knowledge Systems) in Heritage Management in Asia’; in ‘Applicability and Adaptability of Traditional Knowledge Systems in Heritage Management in Asia', ICCROM, Rome.
Upcoming Vernacular Architectural Heritage at the core of Cultural Heritage Movement: Personal reflections on the TBI-Nepal Initiative in the post-earthquake scenario; in Marielle Richon ed. ‘Cultural Heritage of Nepal’, Oriental Cultural Heritage Sites Protection Alliance, Paris, France
2017 Perceptions and Management of Heritage in Buddhist Context: Observations from Nepal; in ‘Asian Buddhist Heritage: Conserving the Sacred’, ICCROM
2016 Blurring boundaries and moving beyond the tangible/intangible and the natural/cultural classifications of heritage: Cases from Nepal; in Amita Sinha and Kapila D. Silva eds – Cultural landscapes of South Asia: Studies in heritage conservation and management; (Routledge, London and New York).
2014 World Heritage in Nepal: Critical Reflections on Lomanthang's Potential Nomination (in Reflections on the Built Environment and Associated Practices: Essays in Honor of Professor Sudarshan Raj Tiwari (compiled by Neel Kamal Chapagain); Department of Architecture, Institute of Engineering, Tribhuvan University (Nepal);
2013 Introduction – Contexts and concerns in managing Asian heritage, and
Chapter 2: Heritage conservation in Buddhist context
( in Asian Heritage Management: Contexts, Concerns and Prospects, co-edited with Kapila D. Silva; Routledge, New York and London.)
Upcoming From Cultural Landscapes to Bio-Cultural Landscape and beyond: The case of Kutch; in Contexts - Built, Living and Natural (Journal); India
2016 Contextual approach to the question of authenticity in heritage management and tourism; in Journal of Heritage Management.
2014 Traditions, materiality and community engagements with heritage: Re-thinking authenticity in living heritage sites in Nepal; in Revisiting Kathmandu: Safeguarding Living Urban Heritage, proceedings of an International Symposium, UNESCO Kathmandu and ICOMOS Nepal
2012 Hindu Temple of Wisconsin: (Re)designing of temple and (re)defining traditions; Journal of the Constructed Environment; Common Ground Publishing
2012 Rethinking participatory process in Heritage Conservation: Situating Professionals in the Process; Journal of Science and Engineering, Bhaktapur, NEPAL
2008 Towards Rethinking Conservation For Traditional And Vernacular Architecture; in Responsibilities & opportunities in architectural conservation: Theory, education, and practice: the fifth International Confernce of the Center for the Study of Architecture in the Arab Region (CSAAR 2008B) edited by Elwazani, S. A., Malhis, S., & Al-Qawasmi, J. (2008). [Amman]: CSAAR Press
2008 Heritage Conservation in Nepal: Stakeholders, Policies and Challenges; Himalayan Journal of Democracy and Development; Vol. 3 No. 1. New Mexico, USA.
2008 Louis Kahn’s Forgotten Project in Kathmandu: A Comparative Study of the context for Family Planning Center Project in Kathmandu with other two projects in South Asia; VAASTU, vol. 10, Kathmandu, Nepal
2007 Revisiting Conservation Charters in context of Lomanthang, Nepal: need to acknowledge local inhabitants and changing contexts; City and Time, 3 5. http://www.ceci-br.org/novo/revista/docs2008/CT-2008-107.pdf
2002 Lomanthang Town Wall: A Living Monument Awaiting Conservation; Ancient Nepal – Journal of the Department of Archaeology, Nepal Government; No. 149; Kathmandu, March 2002; 1-6
2002 A five storied cave system at Chhosar, Upper Mustang; Nepalese Designers’ Building Plans’ Vol. 4, Kantipur Consult Pvt. Ltd
2001 Architectural Regionalism: A Case of Lo (Upper Mustang); Vaastu – journal of the Association of Students of Architecture, Nepal; Vol. 3; Kathmandu, 41-43
Ahmedabad University Regular Teaching
Current Courses in Masters in Heritage Management:
HRTG 511: Heritage Discourses and Practice Areas
HRTG 521: Monuments and Heritage Sites Management
HRTG 571: Indigenous Knowledge Systems Management (with Sushma Iyengar)
HRG 501: Practicum Seminar
HRTG 503: Heritage Management Workshop
HRTG 601: Heritage Management Thesis Seminar
HRTG 611: Heritage Management Advanced Studies
HRTG 612: Ethics and Professional Practice in Heritage Management
Previously offered courses (not offering now):
Introduction to Heritage Management (Undegraduate elective course: ran two years for BBA and B.Com students)
HRTG 512: Heritage Management Seminar (For Masters students)
Beyond Ahmedabad University
2016-17: Thesis Guide (Masters in Architecture, Specialization in Conservation), CEPT University
2015: Thesis Guide (Masters in Monumental Heritage), University of Anhalt, Germany
2015: Visiting Faculty, CEPT University, Department of Architecture & Urban Planning (offered an Independent Studies Course for a Doctoral Student)
2013: Faculty for International Course on Asian Architectural Heritage, Nara, Japan. 1 month course organized by ACCU (Agency for Cultural Affairs of Japan) and ICCROM (International Centre for the Study of Preservation of Cultural Property).
2017: ICOMOS International General Assembly, Coordinator for the South Asian Symposium
2016: World Archaeological Congress:
International Scientific Committee Member for WAC – 8 in Japan: 2016
Co-chair (with Prof. Claire Smith), the theme of ‘(Heritage/Archaeology) Education: Learning and Unlearning’
2016 - Ongoing Journal of Heritage Management
Editorial Board Member, Centre for Heritage Management, Ahmedabad University & SAGE Publications
2016: International Symposium on Heritage and Tourism: Exploring Issues and Opportunities for Post-Disaster
Rehabilitation, Kathmandu, April 2016, organized by ICOMOS Nepal in collaboration with UNESCO Kathmandu Office; Chair of the Scientific Committee, and key facilitator for the technical sessions and concluding discussions.
2016: Workshop Series on Post-Earthquake Recovery of Cultural Heritage in Nepal,
Organized jointly by ICCROM, Department of Archaeology (Nepal Government), Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment, Retsumeikan University Institute of Disaster Mitigation of Cultural Heritage, UNESCO Kathmandu Office, ICOMOS Nepal
Executive Committee Member (2013-Present, 2013: Founding Secretary)
2015 - Traditional Buildings Inventory – TBI – Nepal
Overall Coordination (the volunteers run initiative launched in the aftermath of the 2015 earthquake in Nepal, is still evolving)
2013 - ongoing: Reflections on the Built Environment and Associated Practices (publication series from Nepal)
Overall Coordinator and Editor: A publication series from Nepal on the issues of built environment and practices, the first volume published in 2013, second volume in 2016, and third volume in progress, the ultimate aim is to institutionalize a ‘think tank’ with regular publications coming out from Nepal, discussing the issues on built environment\
2003 - onwards: Key Coordinator of a virtual network 'South Asian Network of Young Conservation Professionals' (SANEYOCOP)