[Urbanstudy] Fwd: Public Lecture-Fri 2 Feb. 2018 at 6.00 PM-Dr. Malini Ranganathan will speak on "Situated Ethics of the City: Narrating Corruption and Land in Contemporary Urban India"-Lecture Hall, NIAS

Carol Upadhya carol.upadhya at gmail.com
Fri Jan 26 09:52:48 CST 2018

*National Institute of Advanced Studies*

Urban and Mobility Studies Programme

Invites you to a *Public Lecture* *Series* entitled

*City at its Limits*

The Second lecture will be delivered by

​​* Dr. Malini Ranganathan*

Assistant Professor, School of International Service

American University, Washington D.C.


* Situated Ethics of the City: Narrating Corruption *

*and Land in Contemporary Urban India*

*Chairperson: Prof. Carol Upadhya, NIAS*

Date:               *Friday, 2nd February 2018*

Time:               *6:00 PM* (Coffee/Tea at 5.30 PM)

Venue:             *Lecture Hall, NIAS*

*Abstract: *  Since the publication of AT Ramaswamy’s Report exposing the
magnitude of “land grabs” by powerful vested interests, activists have
emerged to contest corrupt and irregular processes in Bangalore’s real
estate, wetlands/lakes, and land via both direct action and the courts.
Reflecting on over a decade of ethnographic engagement in peripheral
Bangalore, and drawing from recent fieldwork, this talk analyzes the
politics and ethics of land in contemporary urban India. It argues that
today’s activist discourse differentiates between the everyday
“encroachments” of the poor and lower middle class (as seen, for instance,
by flood-prone revenue layouts and slums) and the “land grabs” of the
globally connected elite for private profit (as seen by high-rises and
malls). The former is seen as the only recourse for housing and livelihood,
and thus not inherently wrong, while the latter is increasingly being
narrated as wrongful, corrupt, and wealth-extracting—indeed, the very root
of heightening inequality in urban India. The concept of “situated ethics”
helps us to understand how activists subjectively navigate the terrain of
law, morality, and justice in the contemporary Indian city, and the
possibilities and limits therein. Ultimately, this talk argues that rather
than an objective set of practices, “corruption” offers a shifting and
contradictory language for assessing spatial transformation.

*About the Speaker*: Dr. Malini Ranganathan is Assistant Professor at the
School of International Service at American University in Washington, DC.
Her research focuses on the relationship between urban housing, land, and
water infrastructures, as well as struggles for environmental and social
justice in India and the US. She is a 2017-2019 co-recipient of an American
Council of Learned Societies-Andrew W Mellon Foundation grant titled
“Corruption Plots, Imagined Publics: The Ethics of Space in the Millennial

** * * * * * * **

*All are cordially invited*

For further information, please contact. Dr. Hemangini Gupta <
NIASurban at gmail.com>

K S Rama Krishna


NIAS, IISc Campus

Bengaluru 560012

Ph; 080 22185000

niasoff at nias.res.in
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