Nikhil Anand, Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Pennsylvania

In this paper, I examine the making of Mumbai’s Coastal Road Project. How might we account for the production of a highway in a climate changed city, one that it is situated on made-up land that fills an increasingly restive, rising sea? Thinking with Amitav Ghosh’s The Great Derangement (2016), I draw attention to the interests, aesthetics and technologies with which the road and is made durable. I argue that Mumbai Coastal Road is not made with “rational” plans, designs and studies of urban infrastructure.  It is mobilized by the aesthetics of modernity (Ghertner 2015) and particular “habits of thought” (Benedict 1934) that privilege, valorize and assume the possibility of bourgeois regularity in the city; a deeply felt orientation and mode of intervening in the world that continues to produce the climate crisis, both in Mumbai and beyond.

This event is part of the Social Life of Climate Change Seminar Series. These research seminars are interdisciplinary discussions around contemporary debates in the humanistic social sciences of climate change and the environment. Events take multiple formats, including standard seminar format as well as more engaged discussions of relevant readings and works in progress.

We regret that this event has been cancelled.

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