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Malini Ranganathan Assistant Professor School of International Service

Contact
Send email to Malini Ranganathan
SIS - School of International Service
SIS - 301
Prof Ranganathan's Spring 2020 office hours are by appointment-only (no sign-up) and will take place on Wednesday afternoons. Please email for an appointment.
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
Degrees

PhD, University of California, Berkeley

MS, University of California, Berkeley

BA, Bard College, NY

Bio

Dr Ranganathan is a critical urban geographer with a broad interest in environmental justice. She uses history, ethnography, critical mapping, and social theory to study the struggles surrounding urban water, land disposession, and climate change vulnerability in India and the US. She is especially interested in the relationship between colonial and postcolonial history, and housing and environmental inequities shaped by race, caste, gender, and class. Much of her research focuses on the politics of the urban environment and neoliberal real estate development in Bangalore/Bengaluru, India. She is a recipient of an American Council of Learned Societies-Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant for a collaborative book project across the humanities and geography, Corruption Plots, Imagined Publics: The Ethics of Space in the Millennial City. The book examines how contemporary land grabs are narrated through diverse and situated understandings of "corruption." Dr Ranganathan also investigates environmental racism in America and has written and spoken on NPR on climate justice in Washington, DC. For an overview of her decolonial and transnational approach to research and teaching, stream this 2019 podcast interview. In her research and teaching more generally, she draws on Marxist geography, postcolonial/decolonial theory, critical race theory, and feminist theory, among other strands. Dr Ranganathan was co-awarded the SIS "Scholar Teacher of the Year" Award in 2018.

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 scholarship also appears in public venues such as e-Flux Architecture, The North Star, Society and Space, and Black Perspectives. She serves on the editorial boards of the Annals of the American Association of Geographers 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).

Partnerships & Affiliations

Scholarly, Creative & Professional Activities

Selected Publications

(*) Indicates SIS student

Multimedia

 

Research Interests

Postcolonial and decolonial theory, critical race theory, feminist theory, the Black radical tradition, discourse analysis, ethnography, history, critical mapping and GIS, political economy of development, urban land grabs, critical corruption studies, urban inequality and environmental justice.

Professional Services

  • 2019-present. Editorial Board Member, Environment and Planning: D (Society and Space).
  • 2016-present. Editorial Board Member, Annals of the American Association of Geographers.
  • 2015-2017. Editorial Board Member, Geography Compass.
  • 2015-2017. Elected Board Member, Urban Geography Specialty Group (UGSG), American Association of Geographers (AAG)
  • 2015-2017. Elected At-Large Councilor, Cultural and Political Ecology Specialty Group (CAPE), American Association of Geographers (AAG)

Grants and Sponsored Research

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.

Professional Presentations

INVITED CAMPUS TALKS (only recent)

  • 2019. "Towards an Anti-caste and Abolitionist Epistemology for Environmental Justice in Urban India". Invited to give the keynote lecture at the "Urban Climates: Power, Development, and Environment in South Asia" conference, Dartmouth College.
  • 2019. "The Environment as Freedom: Racial Capitalism and Environmental Justice". Invited to speak at the Mellon Research Initiative in Racial Capitalism at the University of California, Davis.
  • 2019. "Racial Liberalism and Environmental Racism in Flint, MI". Invited to speak at the University of Michigan RacismLab.
  • 2019. "The Environment as Freedom: Decolonizing Urban Property, Reimagining Justice". Invited to give the annual honorary John Treacy Memorial Lecture (voted on as a "renowned pre-tenure scholar" by Geography graduate students) at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
  • 2018. "Unauthorized Urbanism: Empire and Property in the Ecological Present". 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. See media coverage: "Property in Bangalore is a Political Affair".
  • 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.

CONFERENCE PAPERS AND PANELS (only recent)

  • 2019. "An Ethics of Antiracism, Abolitionism, and Care in Urban Climate Justice", Urban Affairs Association Annual Meeting, Los Angeles, April 26.
  • 2019. "Organizing in Chocolate City: Race, Planning, and Social Justice in Washington, DC", Panelist, American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting, Washington, DC, April 7.
  • 2019. "Methodologies for Studying Racial Capitalism", Panelist, American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting, Washington, DC April 7.
  • 2019. "Author Meets Comrades: Rosalind Fredericks' Garbage Citizenship", Panelist American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting, Washington, DC, April 6
  • 2019. Discussant, Urban Geography keynote lecture (given by Deborah Cowen), April 5.
  • 2019. "Racial Regimes of Property I, II, III, and IV" (Organizer with Anne Bonds and Introducer), American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting, Washington, DC, April 4.
  • 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.