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Distinguished Guest Lecture: Remaking the urban in the peripheries: resettlement colonies and differential inclusion in India, 31 October, 11.00 CET

with Karen Coelho

 Built on lands of low economic value (flood-prone, hazardous or polluted), they house a concentration of vulnerable urban populations – informal workers or migrants from low castes, ethnic or religious minorities – that have been evicted from “slums” in the city. This mode of formalisation of informal housing has become the dominant mode of urban restructuring and social housing in India (and indeed in many other countries of the global south).  Although poorly serviced and disconnected from various vectors of urban advancement, resettlement colonies do not remain margins forever. They soon take on lives of their own, building new and often subversive forms of agency, place-making, and sociality.  This talk will outline the new marginalities engendered by this strategy of “inclusion” and explore how the urban is remade in these counter-sites of metropolitan transformation. 

Karen Coelho recently retired as Professor at the Madras Institute of Development Studies (MIDS) based in Chennai, India.  She is an anthropologist and has researched the city of Chennai for two decades, focusing on ethnographic examinations of urban infrastructure (including water and housing), informal settlements and resettlement schemes, and the eco-restoration of rivers, canals and tanks.  She is a co-editor of the book Participolis: Consent and Contention in Neoliberal Urban India, (2013, Routledge India), and has numerous published articles on the above themes. She serves on the editorial advisory board of the Review of Urban Affairs of the Economic and Political Weekly of India, and is an editor with Urban Studies Journal.  She is a member of the drafting committee for the Housing and Habitat Policy, and the Housing Advisory Committee for the Government of Tamil Nadu.

The discussant for this event is Dr. Maartje van Eerd.

Please note that this event will be recorded.

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