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Katharine Rankin

Professor and Associate Chair, Department of Geography and Planning, University of Toronto

Katharine Rankin is Professor and Associate Chair in the Department of Geography and Planning at the University of Toronto. She has contributed broadly to scholarship on market and state formation through a decolonial, area-studies orientation engaging ethnographic approaches—and featuring case studies of infrastructure development, post-conflict and post-disaster governance, commercial gentrification, microfinance, and a trans-Himalayan trading entrepôt. Empirically these pursuits have transpired primarily in the country of Nepal where Rankin has long-standing linguistic and professional commitments; but also in northern Vietnam and disinvested neighborhoods in Toronto, Canada. Rankin is the author of Cultural Politics of Markets: Economic Liberalization and Social Change in Nepal (Pluto Press and University of Toronto Press 2004) and currently Principal Investigator on a major collaborative SSHRC Insight grant called Infrastructures of Democracy: State Building as Everyday Practice in Nepal’s Agrarian Districts, as well as co-Investigator on a SSHRC Partnership Development Grant titled Expertise, Labour and Mobility in Nepal’s Post-Conflict, Post-Disaster Reconstruction, which forges partnerships with cognate units at the University of British Columbia, Aahrus University in Denmark, and the Social Science Baha research institute in Nepal.


  • 2014–2021
    Professor , University of Toronto