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C4: South Asia Research Cluster

Team Lead: Shubhra Gururani

Team Members:

Solomon Benjamin (Manipal University)
Anne Rademacher (New York University)

Research Context, Methods and Goals:

The research under this cluster is scheduled to start in Year 3 (2012-13). It will run parallel to and draw on research conducted under the Governance, Infrastructure, Land and Housing Markets, Everyday Suburbanisms, and Water clusters. The primary focus of this cluster will be on two city-regions – Bangalore and New Delhi-Gurgaon, with limited focus on land development and green buildings in Mumbai. The objective in the first year (Year 3, 2012) is to conduct a survey of literatures for major city-regions of Bangalore, Mumbai, New Delhi, with references to Kolkata and Chennai, and map critical turning points in urban/suburban governance, land, and housing development since independence in 1947 and identify overlapping and divergent analytical concepts and categories for different city regions. This will enable the framing of key research questions, diverse research methodologies required for different cities, and plan the next stage of research. In Year 3, Gururani will initiate the study of sewage and wastewater infrastructures using qualitative and ethnographic methods. In Year 4, in-depth, field based ethnographic research will start with the help of one student each in Bangalore and New Delhi-Gurgaon. Benjamin will focus on the politics of urban governance in Bangalore focusing on land politics, markets and contestations over land in the last decade.

The research in this cluster has proceeded remarkably well so far, with regular skype meetings and sharing of literature, data, and research strategies. Some of the researchers will be presenting their research findings in the upcoming conference on Suburban Revolution in September 2013. Five senior scholars have come on board and are contributing to the research cluster. There are discussions underway to publish the research as an edited volume.


Rademacher, Anne and Sivaramakrishnan, K.(Eds.) (2013). Ecologies of Urbanism in India. Hong Kong University Press.

Rademacher, Anne. (2013).“Shifting Terrains: Questions of Governance in India’s Cities and their Peripheries.” Suburban Governance. Hamel, P. and Keil, R.. University of Toronto Press. Toronto. (with Burak Kose)

Rademacher, Anne.(2013). “New Fictions of Property and Consensus: Claiming Nature/Land in India’s Urban Peripheries.” Paper presented in the panel Boundary Work: Scripting Land and Property at the Grabbing ‘Green’: Questioning the Green Economy. University of Toronto. Toronto, ON. May 17 – 19

Gururani, Shubhra.(2012). “Troubled Nature”: Some Reflections on the Changing Nature of the Millennial City (Gurgaon), India. In The Natural City: Re-Envisioning the Built Environment. Stefanovic, I. and Scharper, S. (Eds.) University of Toronto Press. Toronto.

Rademacher, Anne. (2013). “Urban Ecologies in a Time of Revolution.” Lecture at Munroe Center for Social Inquiry Lecture Series, Pitzer College. Claremont, CA. Feb. 5, 2013.

Rademacher, Anne. (2013) “Human Habitats and Ideologies of Sustainability.” Lecture at University of Virginia Department of Anthropology. Charlottesville, VA. Jan. 25, 2013.

Rademacher, Anne. (2013). “Human Habitats and Ideologies of Sustainability.” Lecture at McGill University Department of Geography and School of the Environment. Montreal, QC. Jan. 17, 2013.

Gururani, Shubhra. (2012). “When Nature Goes Green: The Story of Pastures and Parks in India’s Urban.” Paper presented at the Center for South Asian Studies, University of Michigan. Ann Arbor, MI. Nov. 16, 2012.

Rademacher, Anne. (2012).“Soldiering Sustainability: Urban Ecologies and Political Imaginaries in Kathmandu and Mumbai.” Lecture at Harvard University Department of South Asian Studies. Cambridge, MA. Dec. 5, 2012.

Rademacher, Anne. (2012). “Reigning the River and the Challenge of Method.” Lecture at Bard College. Annandale-on-Hudson, NY. Oct. 18, 2012.

Rademacher, Anne. (2012) “Mumbai, Berlin, Bangkok: Envisioning and Enabling the Sustainable City.” Lecture at Rachana Sansad Institute for Environmental Architecture. Mumbai. July 20, 2012.

Rademacher, Anne. (2012). “Layers of Power and Political Thickets: Reflections on Field Strategies in Kathmandu and Mumbai.” Lecture at Tata Institute for the Social Sciences Researching Mumbai Lecture Series. Mumbai. July 19, 2012.