Contested Spaces and Urban Citizenship in India

25 October 2011, 17:00 - 19:00

King’s College, Rylands Room

Romola Sanyal  (Newcastle)

 

Romola Sanyal’s talk will focus on multiple narratives of Dharavi, Mumbai and how these competing and complimentary narratives produce particular claims to citizenship. Much of the work draws on her recent and brief fieldwork in Dharavi, but also draws on postcolonial theory and citizenship.  The field trip entailed going on several ‘slum tours’ and the talk will pick up on how the slum is narrated through these and other media. 

Romola Sanyal, Ph.D. is Lecturer in Global Urbanism in the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape at Newcastle University. Her work focuses on the intersection between Refugee Studies and Urban Studies in trying to understand how refugee spaces urbanize. Studying refugee 'colonies' in Calcutta and camps in Beirut, the work endeavours to show how the production of space is central to the production of refugee identity and rights. The aim is not only to debunk widely held beliefs that refugee camps form spaces of exception, by pointing to the complexity of relations that construct refugee identities and spaces, but to show how these sites are becoming increasingly informalized and urbanized as a result of particular geopolitics. Her work studying the refuge through the lens of the city raises critical questions of identity, citizenship and belonging can be raised particularly in relation to space and place. She has published in journals such as Traditional Dwellings and Settlements Review, Social Identities (2009), Urban Studies (2011), Geography Compass (forthcoming), and has chapters in forthcoming books such as Urbanizing Citizenship: Contested Spaces in Indian Cities (Renu Desai and Romola Sanyal, eds) and The Postconflict Environment (Daniel B. Monk, ed). Her book Urbanizing Citizenship: Contested Spaces in Indian Cities (Sage, India) is forthcoming in November, 2011. Her Ph.D. dissertation Architectures of Displacement: On Identity and Refugee Space in Beirut and Calcutta won the 2010 Social Science Research Council-IDRF Book Fellowship award.


Prior to coming to Newcastle, Romola worked at University College London and at the Open University and was the inaugural postdoctoral fellow at the Chao Center for Asian Studies, Rice University. She has a Ph.D in Architecture from University of California, Berkeley and an M.Sc in Cities, Space and Society (Geography) from the London School of Economics. She currently serves on the executive board of the International Association of the Study of Traditional Environments.

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Open to all. No registration required


Part of the City Seminar series.
For more information about the group, please visit the link on the right hand side of this page.