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I am an urban anthropologist and my research and teaching interests lie at the intersection of gender studies, urban studies and urban theory, and political science.
I am currently working on two book-length projects. The first is an ethnography of the women's wing of the Shiv Sena party in urban Maharashtra, India. It is tentatively entitled: The Dashing Ladies of the Shiv Sena: Urban Brokers and the Gendered Politics of Performance. The book develops a feminist theory of patronage politics and examines the discursive and performative expressions of political personality in urbanizing regions of the world. It is particularly concerned with the ways in which the changing dynamics of urbanization and urban space across several cities in Western India enable particularly gendered forms of charismatic political performance and urban political brokerage among women.
The second project tentatively entitled “Everyday Technologies of the Urban: Roads, Streets and Resistance” falls broadly into the emerging fields of transport anthropology and the anthropology of infrastructure. It looks at the cultural life of new transport infrastructures in India particularly at the ways in which ideas about global infrastructure travel and are implemented across urban Asia. It is particularly interested in how new urban technologies mold themselves around everyday life and how resistance and politics around these technologies gets constituted. I am currently conducting fieldwork for this project in Mumbai and Singapore.