Category Archives: workshops

The Making of an Indian Metropolis

Primary Text

Kidambi, Prashant. The Making of an Indian Metropolis: Colonial Governance and Public Culture in Bombay, 1860-1920. Ashgate, 2007.

Supplementary Texts

Kidambi, Prashant. “‘An Infection of Locality’: Plague, Pythogenesis and the Poor in Bombay, 1896–1905.” Urban History 31, no. 02 (2005): 249-267.

Kidambi, Prashant. “Housing the Poor in a Colonial City: The Bombay Improvement Trust, 1898-1918.” Studies in History 17, no. 1 (February 1, 2001): 57-79.

Q2P: Toilets and the City


The Students Council and Students of Color Committee of the Department of Urban Studies and Planning (DUSP) and the South Asia Forum at MIT invite you to a screening of the documentary film “Q2P” directed by Paromita Vohra on FRIDAY 27 APRIL at 6.00 P.M. in the Audio-Visual Theatre in Room 7-431 at DUSP, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139.


(Documentary, 2005, 53 minutes, DV, English, Hindi)


Who is dreaming up the global city? Q2P peers through the dream of a futuristic Mumbai and finds… public toilets… not enough of them.

As this film observes who has to queue to pee, we begin to understand the imagination of gender that underlies the city’s shape and the constantly shifting boundaries between public and private space.

We meet whimsical people with novel ideas of social change, which thrive with mixed results. We learn of small acts of survival that people in the city’s bottom half cobble together. In the Museum of Toilets, at a night concert, in a New Delhi “international toilet”, in a Bombay slum, we hear the silence that surrounds toilets and sense how similar it is to the silence that surrounds inequality.

The toilet becomes a riddle with many answers and some of those answers are questions – about gender, about class, about caste and most of all about space, urban development and the twisted myth of the global metropolis.

Raj Chandavarkar Memorial Roundtable

Our friend Professor Rajnarayan Chandavarkar died of a sudden heart attack while at a conference on Four Cities in Modernity at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire on 23 April 2006.

This memorial roundtable, in his memory, on Labour, Space and Politics: Raj Chandavarkar and the History of Modern South Asia, was held at the Association for Asian Studies (AAS) Annual Meeting was held on 22 March 2007.

Rajnarayan Chandavarkar was one of the foremost scholars of urban and working class history writing on South Asia. His sudden death in April 2006 has been an inestimable loss to the academic community. The empirical depth of Chandavarkar’s scholarship stood out amongst his contemporaries. The impact of his work on the field remains to be assessed. This roundtable will focus on several areas where Chandavarkar’s contributions remain significant and offer new directions for future scholarship.

Continue reading Raj Chandavarkar Memorial Roundtable

Remembering Raj Chandavarkar


Douglas Haynes and Subho Basu, Rajnarayan Chandavarkar, 1953-2006, Economic & Political Weekly, Vol. 41, Issue No. 21, 27 May 2006.

Rajnarayan Chandavarkar, “From Neighbourhood to Nation: The Rise and Fall of the Left in Bombay’s Girangaon in the 20th Century”, introductory essay from Meena Menon and Neera Adarkar, One Hundred Years, One Hundred Voices: The Mill Workers of Girangaon: An Oral History (Calcutta: Seagull Books, 2004).

Chandavarkar, “Workers’ Politics and the Mill Districts in Bombay Between the Wars” from Imperial Power and Popular Politics: Class, Resistance and the State in India, 1850-1950, pp.100-142

Chandavarkar, “Police and Public Order in Bombay, 1880-1947” from Imperial Power and Popular Politics: Class, Resistance and the State in India, 1850-1950, pp.180-233

Chandavarkar, “Plague Panic and Epidemic Politics in India, 1896-1914” from Imperial Power and Popular Politics: Class, Resistance and the State in India, 1850-1950, pp.234-265

Divine Enterprise in Bangalore


Tulasi Srinivas, “Divine Enterprise: Hindu Priests and Ritual Change in Neighbourhood Hindu Temples in Bangalore”, South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies, Vol.XXIX, no.3, December 2006.


Wayne Ashley, “The Stations of the Cross: Christ, Politics, and Processions on New York City’s Lower East Side” in Robert Orsi, ed. Gods of the City: Religion and the American Urban Landscape, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1999, pp.341-366.

David Harvey, “Capitalism: The Factory of Fragmentation” (chapter 7) and “Cartographic Identities: Geographical Knowledges Under
Globalization” (chapter 11) from Spaces of Capital: Towards a Critical Geography, New York: Routledge, 2001, pp.121-127 and pp.208-236.

Peter Hall, “The City of Enterprise: Planning Turned Upside Down: Baltimore, Hong Kong, London, 1975-1987” in Cities of Tomorrow: An Intellectual History of Urban Planning and Design in the Twentieth Century, London: Basil Blackwell, 1988, pp.342-260.

Janaki Nair, “Battles for Bangalore: Re-Territorialising the City”, paper published by SEPHIS (South-South Exchange Program for Research on the History of Development), International Institute of Social History, Amsterdam, 2002.

James Heitzman, “Becoming Silicon Valley”, Seminar 503 on Globalization, New Delhi, July 2001

Colonial Planning & Princely Hyderabad


Eric Lewis Beverley, “Improvising Urbanism: Aesthetics and Sanitation in the Making of Modern Hyderabad”. (draft chapter of dissertation in the Department of Indo-Islamic Studies, Harvard University).


Mark Harrison, “The Foundations of Public Health in India: Crisis and Constraint”, chapter 3 of Public Health in British India: Anglo-Indian Preventive Medicine 1859-1914, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994).

Di Wang, “Street Control”, chapter 5 of Street Culture in Chengdu:
Public Space, Urban Commoners and Local Politics, 1870-1930, Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2003.

Paul Rabinow, “Techno-Cosmopolitanism: Governing Morocco”, chapter 9 of French Modern: Norms and Forms of the Social Environment, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1989.

John E. Brush, “The Morphology of Indian Cities” in Roy Turner, ed.,
India’s Urban Future: Selected Studies from an International Conference sponsored by Kingsley Davis, Richard L. Park, and Catherine Bauer Wurster, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1962.

Zeynep Celik, “Regularization of the Urban Fabric” in Celik, The Remaking of Istanbul: Portrait of an Ottoman City in the Nineteenth Century, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1986.

Delhi in Ruins


Anand Vivek Taneja, “The Archaeology of Myth: The Myth of Archaeology: The Pasts and Present of the Purana Qila” and “History and Heritage Woven in the New Urban Fabric: The Changing Landscapes of Delhi’s ‘First City’, 1995-2005 (or, Who Can Tell the Histories of Lado Sarai?)” (draft chapters from dissertation in the Department of Anthropology, Columbia University).


Bayly, C.A. “Delhi and Other Cities of North India during the ‘Twilight’.” In The Delhi Omnibus, edited by R.E. Frykenberg, 121-136. New Delhi: Oxford University Press India, 2002.

Gupta, Narayani. “Delhi and Its Hinterland: The Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries.” In The Delhi Omnibus, edited by R.E. Frykenberg, 137-156. New Delhi: Oxford University Press India, 2002.

Khan, Naveeda. “Of Children and Jinn: An Inquiry into an Unexpected Friendship during Uncertain Times.” Research-article, May 18, 2006.

Kumar, Sunil. “A Medieval Reservoir and Modern Urban Planning: Local Society and the Hauz-i-Rani and Making Sacred History or Everyone his/her own Historian: The Pasts of the Village of Saidlajab.” In The Present in Delhi’s Pasts, 62-118. New Delhi: Three Essays Press, 2002.

Messick, Brinkley. Selections from The Calligraphic State. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993.

Suburbanisation in Colonial Bombay


Nikhil Rao, “An Indian Suburbia” (chapter 1 from dissertation in the Department of History, University of Chicago, 2006).


Robert Fishman, Bourgeois Utopias: The Rise and Fall of Suburbia. New York: Basic Books, 1987.

Kenneth T. Jackson, Crabgrass Frontier: The Suburbanization of the
United States. New York: Oxford University Press, 1985.

John Archer, “Colonial Suburbs in South Asia, 1750-1850, and the Spaces of Modernity” in Roger Silverstone, ed. Visions of Suburbia, New York: Routledge, 1997, pp.26-54.

Anthony D. King, “Excavating the Multicultural Suburb: Hidden Histories of the Bungalow” in Roger Silverstone, ed. Visions of Suburbia, New York: Routledge, 1997, pp.55-85.


Patrick Geddes & Town Planning in India

Professor Patrick Geddes, from the Silver Jubilee Souvenir of the Bombay University School of Economics & Sociology, 1947
Professor Patrick Geddes, from the Silver Jubilee Souvenir of the Bombay University School of Economics & Sociology, 1947


Patrick Geddes, Selections from “Cities in Evolution” from Marshall Stalley, ed., Patrick Geddes: Spokesman for Man and the Environment, New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1972.

Hellen Meller, “Urbanisation and the Introduction of Modern Town Planning Ideas in India, 1900-1925” in K.N. Chaudhuri and Clive J. Dewey, eds., Economy & Society: Essays in Indian Social & Economic History, New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1979.

Indra Munshi, “Patrick Geddes: Sociologist, Environmentalist, Town Planner” in Economic & Political Weekly, Vol.35, No.6, 5 February 2000.

Ramachandra Guha, “Patrick Geddes and Ecological Town Planning in India”, paper given at the MIT Seminar on Environmental & Agricultural History, March 2006


Geddes, Reports on Re-Planning of Six Towns in Bombay Presidency, 1915. Bombay: Government of Maharashtra Urban Development and Public Health Dept, 1965.

Geddes, Town Planning in Lucknow: A Report to the Municipal Council. Lucknow: Murray’s London Printing Press, 1916.

Geddes, Report on Town Planning, Dacca. Calcutta: Bengal Secretariat Depot, 1917.

Geddes (with H.V. Lanchester), Town Planning in Jubbulpore: A Report to the Municipal Committee. Jubbulpore: Hitkarini Press, 1917.

Geddes, Town Planning towards City Development: A Report to the Durbar of Indore. Indore: Holkar State Printing Press, 1918.