Niranjana Ramesh joined the LSE Department of Geography and Environment as a Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow in September 2019. She is an urban geographer with working experience as a journalist reporting on urban development and culture in south India. Her work has long been rooted in ethnographic engagement with the everyday life of cities.
She completed her PhD in Human Geography at University College London in 2018. Her doctoral thesis titled ‘Infrastructures with a pinch of salt: comparative technopolitics of desalination in Chennai, India and London, UK’ critically engages with the role of engineers, water managers and state actors in shaping urban waterscapes. Following from this, Niranjana has been developing the idea of urban natures as technonatures and infrastructures over which forms of urban sociality and politics are sustained.
In 2018-19, she worked as a Postdoctoral Research Associate in an ERC-funded project titled ‘Rethinking Urban Nature’ at the University of Cambridge. As part of the project that traverses four cities around the world, Niranjana focused on Chennai’s wetland geographies and the social movements emerging around them.
Building on these experiences, her current research project will study and write the city of Chennai through its coastal socio-materiality. Titled ‘Coastal city: materialising subaltern geographies at the urban margins’, the project centres life and politics along the shifting liminality of Chennai’s coastline. Through this project, Niranjana aims to draw out a broader narrative of the nature-culture entanglements that have characterised Chennai’s urbanisation trajectories.