- Additional Positions at AU
- Faculty Fellow at the Metropolitan Policy Center, School of Public Affairs
- Faculty Co-Lead, Environment Team, Antiracist Research and Policy Center
PhD, University of California, Berkeley
MS, University of California, Berkeley
BA, Bard College, NY
Dr Ranganathan is a critical geographer and political ecologist with a broad interest in urban environmental justice. Specifically, she studies the history and politics of water and property and urban struggles over these resources in both India and the US. Much of her research focuses on water, flooding, and wet/land in the city of Bangalore/Bengaluru, India. She uses ethnographic and archival research to show how colonial and postcolonial housing inequalities structured by race, class, and caste; widespread informality; and new patterns of international development aid have fueled urban political mobilizations. In 2017, she was awarded a 2017-2019 American Council of Learned Societies-Andrew W. Mellon Foundation humanities grant for a collaborative book project Corruption Plots, Imagined Publics: The Ethics of Space in the Millennial City on the stories and imaginaries surrounding real estate “corruption”, land grabs, and widening inequality in global cities. Dr Ranganathan also investigates urban inequality in America and is researching prospects for antiracist climate justice in Washington, DC. She writes on US urban and environmental justice through an intersectional and antiracist lens. In her research and teaching more generally, she draws on history, critical urban studies, postcolonial/decolonial theory, critical race theory, feminist theory, and science and technology studies. In 2018 Dr Ranganathan was co-awarded the SIS "Scholar Teacher of the Year" Award.
Her research is published in the Annals of the American Association of Geographers, Progress in Human Geography, Environment and Planning: A (Economy and Society), Journal of Planning Education and Research, Capitalism Nature Socialism, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Urban Geography, Antipode: A Radical Journal of Geography, and Water Alternatives among other journals. Her writing also appears on academic blogs such as Society and Space and Black Perspectives, and in edited books. She serves on the editorial boards of the Annals and Environment and Planning: D (Society and Space). Previously, Dr Ranganathan was a post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Geography at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and has had research positions at TERI in New Delhi, ENDA-Tiers Monde in Dakar, and the Asian Development Bank in Manila. At SIS, Dr Ranganathan teaches SISU 250 (Environmental Sustainability and Global Health), SISU 349 (Global Cities, Justice, and the Environment), and SIS 620 (Environmental Justice).
- See Also
- Dr Ranganathan's June 2018 invited talk "From Urban Resilience to Anti-Racist Climate Justice in Washington DC" at UC Davis
- Dr Ranganathan's April 2018 invited keynote at the "Decolonial Ecologies: Climate Justice in the Anthropocene" Mellon-Sawyer Seminar at Georgetown University
- Dr Ranganathan's October 2018 invited talks in the "Social Life of Climate Change Series" at the London School of Economics
- Follow Dr Ranganathan on Twitter
- Dr Ranganathan's academic website
- For the Media
- To request an interview for a news story, call AU Communications at 202-885-5950 or submit a request.
(*) indicates SIS student
- Accepted and Forthcoming. "From Urban Resilience to Abolitionist Climate Justice in Washington, DC" (with Eve Bratman). Antipode.
- 2018. "Beyond Third World Comparisons: America's Geography of Water, Race, and Poverty". International Journal of Urban and Regional Research Spotlight Series on Parched Cities.
- 2018. "Rule By Difference: Empire, Liberalism, and the Legacies of Urban 'Improvement'". Environment and Planning: A (Economy and Space) 50 (7): 1386–1406
- 2018. "The Politics of Participation in Cape Town's Slum Upgrading: The Role of Productive Tension" (with Karly Kiefer (*)). Journal of Planning Education and Research. Published online March 21, 2018.
- 2018. "Rethinking Urban Water Informality" in K Conca and E Weinthal (Eds), Oxford Handbook of Water Politics and Policy.
- 2018. "Towards a Critical Geography of Corruption and Power in Late Capitalism" (with Sapana Doshi). Progress in Human Geography. Published online January 31, 2018.
- 2017. "Hydraulic Politics In/Beyond the World Class City: A Review Forum". Dialogues in Human Geography 7 (3): 349-351.
- 2017. "Endangered City and Hydraulic City: A Review Forum". Society and Space, the blog for the journal Environment and Planning: D.
- 2017. "The Environment as Freedom: A Decolonial Reimagining. Social Science Research Council Items, reprinted in Black Perspectives, African American Intellectual History Society blog.
- 2017. "The Color of Corruption: Whiteness and Populist Narratives" (with Sapana Doshi). Society and Space, the blog for the journal Environment and Planning: D.
- 2017. "Contesting the Unethical City: Land Dispossession and Corruption Narratives in Urban India" (with Sapana Doshi). Annals of the American Association of Geographers 107 (1): 183-199.
- 2016. "Thinking with Flint: Racial Liberalism and the Roots of an American Water Tragedy". Capitalism Nature Socialism 27 (3): 17-33.
- 2015. "Storm Drains as Assemblages: The Political Ecology of Flood Risk in Postcolonial Bangalore", Antipode: A Radical Journal of Geography 47 (5): 1300-1320.
- 2015. "Water Marginalization at the Urban Fringe: Environmental Justice and Urban Political Ecology Across the North-South Divide" (with Carolina Balazs), Urban Geography 36 (3): 403-423.
- 2014. "Paying for Pipes, Claiming Citizenship: Political Agency and Water Reforms at the Urban Periphery", International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 38 (2): 590-608.
- 2014. "Mafias in the Waterscape: Urban Informality and Everyday Public Authority in Bangalore", Water Alternatives 7 (1): 89-105.
- 2015. "Why Bengaluru is not Immune to Floods: It's All About Land (and Money)", Citizen Matters, December 10.
- 2014. "Bangalore: High Tech and the Monsoons", London School of Economics and Political Science Urban Age Newspaper Series: Governing Urban Futures.
- 2014. "Improv Cities: Urban Peripheries and the Future", American University TEDx Talk.
INVITED CAMPUS TALKS (only recent)
- November 2018 (upcoming). Invited to speak at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
- 2018. "The Infrastructural Turn in Urban Studies and Political Ecology". Invited Panelist at King's College, London.
- 2018. "Unauthorized Urbanism: Liberal Property-Making and the Coloniality of Rule". Invited to speak at the London School of Economics and Political Science.
- 2018. "Unauthorized City: Entanglements of Water, Property, and Rule in Bangalore". Invited to speak by the Duke India Initiative, Nicholas School, and the Franklin Humanities Institute at Duke University.
- 2018. "From Urban Resilience to Anti-Racist Climate Justice in Washington, DC" for the Topics in Environmental Justice Speaker Series. Invited to speak at the University of California, Davis.
- 2018. "Climate of Dispossession: On the Coloniality of Urban Ecologies" for the Decolonial Ecologies: Climate Justice in the Anthropocene Series. Invited to speak at Mellon-Sawyer Seminar on the Anthropocene, Georgetown University, Washington, DC.
- 2018. "Dispossession, Liberalism, and the Coloniality of Urban Ecologies". Invited to speak at the Penn Program on Environmental Humanities, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.
- 2017. "Racial Liberalism and the Coloniality of Urban Ecologies". Invited to speak at the Ecologies of Social Difference/Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Social Justice Institute's "Noted Scholar Series", University of British Columbia, Vancouver.
- 2017. "Qualitative GIS for Critical Urban Geography". Invited to speak at the Conference for High-Impact Research, American University.
- 2017. "Thinking with Flint: Structural Racism in Planning, Pipes, and Politics". Invited to speak at Boston University.
CONFERENCE PAPERS AND PANELS (only recent)
- 2018. "Urban Land Grabs as the New-Old Frontier of Capitalist Accumulation and Racial Violence", Panelist, Association of Environmental Studies and Sciences Annual Meeting, Washington, DC, June 22.
- 2018. "Pedagogies of Race and Racialization", Panelist, American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting, New Orleans, April 14.
- 2018. "The Political Ecology of Flood Risk and Management Across the North and South", Discussant, American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting, New Orleans, April 13.
- 2018. "From Urban Resilience to Abolitionist Climate Justice in Washington, DC", Abolition Ecologies Paper Session, American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting, New Orleans, April 13.
- 2018. "Water and Climate Justice", Panelist, American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting, New Orleans, April 11.
- 2018. "Racial Finance Capitalism", Discussant, American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting, New Orleans, April 10.
- 2018. "Land Justice in the City", Discussant, American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting, New Orleans, April 10.
- Peer reviewer for Annals of the American Association of Geographers, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Geoforum, Antipode, Environment and Planning: A, Environment and Planning: D, & Urban Geography
- 2016-present. Editorial Board Member, Annals of the American Association of Geographers (People, Place, & Region section)
- 2015-2017. Editorial Board Member, Geography Compass (Urban Section).
- 2015-2017. Board Member, Urban Geography Specialty Group (UGSG), American Association of Geographers (AAG)
- 2015-2017. At-Large Councilor, Cultural and Political Ecology Specialty Group (CAPE), American Association of Geographers (AAG)
Grants and Sponsored Research
- 2018-2019. Antipode Foundation International Workshop Award "Postcolonial Difference, Transnational Solidarities: Geographies of Race, Caste, and Tribe in South Asia".
- 2017-2019. American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS)-Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Collaborative Research Grant "Corruption Plots, Imagined Publics: The Ethics of Space in the Millennial City" (with Sapana Doshi and David Pike). Read AU Media Release "Plotlines of Corruption" here.
- 2016-2017. Faculty Research Support Grant "Urban Revolution? Anti-Corruption and Environmental Justice in India".
- 2015-2016. Metropolitan Policy Center Faculty Research Grant "Tackling Urban Vulnerability: Lessons for Building Community Resilience and Climate Justice in Washington, DC" (with Eve Bratman).
- 2007-2009. National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant, Geography and Spatial Sciences Program, Directorate of Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences: "Seeing Like a Citizen: Technologies of Governance and Urban Service Delivery in Bangalore".
Political economy of development, urban inequality and environmental justice, postcolonial theory, critical race theory, feminist theory, the black radical tradition, discourse analysis, ethnography, history
Honors, Awards, and Fellowships
- 2018. Co-recipient, SIS Scholar-Teacher of the Year Award
- 2011-2013. Post-Doctoral Fellow, Social Dimensions of Environmental Policy (SDEP), Department of Geography and Beckman Institute, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
- 2009-2010. Chancellor’s Dissertation-Year Fellowship in the Humanities and Social Sciences, University of California, Berkeley.
- 2007-2008. John L. Simpson Memorial Research Fellowship in International and Comparative Studies, University of California, Berkeley.
- 2007-2008. American Institute of Indian Studies (headquartered at the University of Chicago) Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship.
- 2006. Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Award, University of California, Berkeley.
- 2006. Center for South Asian Studies Summer Research Fellowship, University of California, Berkeley.
- 2005. Center for Human Rights Summer Research Fellowship, University of California, Berkeley.