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Wed 24 March
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    12.30 - 13.45
    14.30 - 15.45
    16.00 - 17.15

Thu 25 March
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    12.30 - 13.45
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Fri 26 March
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    12.30 - 13.45
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    16.00 - 17.15

Sat 27 March
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    14.30 - 15.45
    16.00 - 17.00

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Wednesday 24 March 2021 12.30 - 13.45
L-2 ASI01 Identities in Flux in Asia’s Transforming Cities in the 21st Century
L
Networks: Asia , Urban Chair: John Davis
Organizer: Nandini Gooptu Discussants: -
Moderators: -
Aparna Agarwal : Cast(e)ing off Waste: a Study of Bhalswa Landfill in Delhi
Waste is increasing at an exponential level in Delhi. The present-day solution of waste-crisis is focused primarily on the removal of waste, i.e., treating it as a matter to be cleaned. Consequently, the presence of waste of today is identified in terms of waste management and environmental abuse which invisibilise ... (Show more)
Waste is increasing at an exponential level in Delhi. The present-day solution of waste-crisis is focused primarily on the removal of waste, i.e., treating it as a matter to be cleaned. Consequently, the presence of waste of today is identified in terms of waste management and environmental abuse which invisibilise the older and pre-existing role of the caste system. The work here situates waste in broader social and political constellations of discarded places, disposable lives and waste-value dialectic. The nature of consumer waste, since 1980s has altered from biodegradable to non-bio degradable waste (e.g plastic, electronics, metals). In Delhi, a large army of stigmatized and marginalised labourers is involved in managing this waste and renewing the urban economy. In this paper, I make a case for understanding how the changing materiality and afterlife of waste shapes the caste and community relations of informal waste worker, operating at the lowest rung of informal economy, converting waste into value, at the landfill site. The paper will be based on the case study of Bhalswa landfill, which is home to thousands of ragpickers, strategically located at the margins of North-west Delhi. Though the landfill exhausted its capacity 10 years back but it still manages to receive the waste from large sections of the city. The ragpickers working at this site are lower caste migrant labourers mostly hailing from Bengal. (Show less)

Nandini Gooptu : Food Consumption and Urban Identity: the Politics of Vegetarianism in India
With rapid urbanisation in contemporary India, growing anxiety about the stress and pace of urban life and the corrosive effects of pollution have elicited new life style preferences among the middle classes. One of these is vegetarianism, which has emerged to be at the forefront of debates on urban identity ... (Show more)
With rapid urbanisation in contemporary India, growing anxiety about the stress and pace of urban life and the corrosive effects of pollution have elicited new life style preferences among the middle classes. One of these is vegetarianism, which has emerged to be at the forefront of debates on urban identity and culture in India. As elsewhere in the world, the ascendance of vegetarianism pertains to concerns with health, well-being, the environment and responsible consumption. At the same time, in Indian cities, vegetarianism is entangled with Hindu religious identity and spiritual ideas, spurred on by Hindu nationalist politics and the official promotion of vegetarianism by the government as a marker of Hindu culture. However, vegetarianism is not always espoused for religious conformity, but is also posited as a form of cosmopolitan practice, animated by ethical urges. This paper explores the multiple meanings of vegetarianism in the Indian city to examine struggles over contested and competing urban identities. (Show less)

Shivangi Kaushik : Title of the Study: Understanding Racial Subjectivities of Women from Northeast India in the Spaces of Education and Work in New Delhi
New Delhi saw a rapid increase of educational and employment opportunities (especially the increase in private educational institutions and the retail sector of global brands) after India adopted the 1991 economic liberalization reforms; owing to which the city attracted a substantial number of young migrants from across the country. This ... (Show more)
New Delhi saw a rapid increase of educational and employment opportunities (especially the increase in private educational institutions and the retail sector of global brands) after India adopted the 1991 economic liberalization reforms; owing to which the city attracted a substantial number of young migrants from across the country. This paper then will study the subjectivities of one such migrant community. It seeks to understand the racial subjectivities of migrant women from the Northeastern region of India (NER), who come to New Delhi in search of employment and higher education. Using an intersectional approach (Yural Davis and Anthias 1992:12), the paper seeks to understand if gender, race and class intersect to mediate their access to employment and higher education in New Delhi. I look at women who identify their point of origin as one of the eight states of Northeast India and whose facial features resemble that of the people of various Himalayan countries like Tibet and Nepal; by virtue of which they are considered racially different from the rest of the Indian population. Owing to the fact that they have different physiognomic features they are not considered ‘Indian’ enough. The paper is based on observations deduced from in-depth ethnographic work conducted in New Delhi. The experiences of the migrant women who (look different) are employed in sales positions in the retail outlets of H&M and Zara and the young women from the who seek admission in the various undergraduate colleges of New Delhi; form the fulcrum of the paper. These women who have migrated from a region which has been marred by decades of conflict and insurgency; then how do they fulfil their aspirations and dreams in a city where they live cheek by jowl with other migrants from other parts of the country?
From an in-depth literature survey, it is revealed that the migrant women from the region face a very particular and unique form of racial discrimination within India, which starts from directing racial abuses at the women who have distinctive physiognomic features. This form of racial discrimination may then be extended to behaviourally stereotype them as ‘docile’ and ‘obedient’ by the people who do not look like them within New Delhi. Therefore, the study seeks to understand if racialization of women from the region in New Delhi, is a combination of both biological as well as cultural racism. (Visweswaran 2001; Balibar and Wallerstein 1991). (Show less)

Anjali Krishan : Housewife Suicides: Gender, Domestic Space and the Suicide Discourse amongst Middle-Class Housewives in Delhi-NCR
While cities undergo rapid global urbanization, one mostly hidden but widespread phenomenon in India, is that of the consistently high number of suicides amongst married women, particularly so-called ‘housewives.’ This paper examines middle-class women’s tales of suicides and suicidal impulses amongst their neighbours, friends and relatives in Delhi-NCR. While such ... (Show more)
While cities undergo rapid global urbanization, one mostly hidden but widespread phenomenon in India, is that of the consistently high number of suicides amongst married women, particularly so-called ‘housewives.’ This paper examines middle-class women’s tales of suicides and suicidal impulses amongst their neighbours, friends and relatives in Delhi-NCR. While such tales of suicides may be of little use to concretely establish why women kill themselves, they do reveal much about their narrator’s views on what makes a life worth living. This paper examines the emotions articulated or conspicuously not articulated, by women in their suicide narratives to understand how they redefine and reiterate ideas of womanhood, family, and domesticity. (Show less)



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