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Neel Kamal Chapagain

Associate Professor
PhD (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee)
Areas of interest
Heritage discourses, community engagement, participatory processes, heritage education, heritage values and authenticity, ethnographic approach in heritage research, vernacular architecture,
2930 8523

Neel Kamal Chapagain joined Centre for Heritage Management, Ahmedabad University in 2013 to develop the Masters 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 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 2014 and the second volume is In Press. 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 Masters programme. Apart from his key responsibilities in the Masters programme, he is currently leading the organization of an international conference on Heritage Management Education and Practice: Exploring Connections across Disciplines and Stakeholders', to be held at Ahmedabad University in July 29-31, 2017. He obtained his Ph.D. from 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.

Heritage Management Education as 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: review of policies and intiatives 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 

Books (edited)

Upcoming        Reflections on the Built Environment and Associated practices (Vol. 2)

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 Lodon.




Upcoming        Perceptions and Management of Heritage in Buddhist Context: Observations from Nepal; in Asian Buddhist Heritage: Conserving the Sacred, ICCROM

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

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 Lodon.)

Peer-reviewed Publications

Upcoming         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[2] 5.

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

2017 (upcoming): International Field School on Integrated Heritage Management, Cambodia; organized by Integrated Heritage Project, an NGO based in the United States. 

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). 

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 2014, second 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)