Work

Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) Coat of ArmsSince 2020 I have served as historian and advisor to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) Heritage Conservation Cell. From 2017-2020 I advised the Estates Department and Deputy Municipal Commissioner (Improvements). I completed my doctoral dissertation research at the BMC in 2010-13.

Since 2018 I have served as an advisor on archives and records for the Office of the Director General, Maharashtra State Police on the history of policing in Maharashtra and the future Mumbai City Police Museum.

Economic & Political Weekly (EPW)Between 2014 and 2018 I was Consulting Editor (Book Reviews) (2016-18) and Editorial Consultant (2014) for the Economic & Political Weekly (EPW), India’s premier journal of social sciences and contemporary affairs, published continuously every week from Mumbai (Bombay) for over fifty years.

indexFrom 2015 to 2017 I was  a Post-Doctoral Fellow with the Asia Research Institute (ARI) at the National University of Singapore (NUS) where  I was as a member of the Science Technology & Society (STS) Research Cluster at NUS Tembusu College.

Tata Institute of Fundamental ResearchIn 2014-2015, I was a Visiting Fellow and Graduate School Faculty at the Homi Bhabha Centre of Science Education (HBCSE), Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Mumbai, where I created and taught a doctoral course on “Education Science & Society in Modern India”.`

Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyBetween 2005-2013 I pursued my PhD in History and Anthropology in the Program in Science Technology & Society (STS) at the MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Cambridge, U.S.A., where I worked with anthropologist Dr Michael M.J. Fischer and historian Dr Merritt Roe Smith on my doctoral dissertation committee.

Columbia UniversityDuring my PhD from 2006-2013, I was also an Exchange Scholar in Middle Eastern, South Asian & African Studies (MESAAS) at Columbia University, New York, U.S.A., where I worked with political theorist and sociologist Dr Sudipta Kaviraj on my doctoral dissertation committee.

American Institute of Indian Studies (AIIS)From 2010-11, I was a Junior Fellow of the American Institute of Indian Studies (AIIS) in Gurgaon/Delhi, and was affiliated to the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai for my doctoral research and fieldwork.

Topomancy LLCFrom 2008 to 2018, I founded, was Co-Director and Managing Partner of Topomancy LLC with my partners and co-founders in India, the U.S. and U.K., Sanjay Bhangar, Schuyler Erle and Tim Waters. Topomancy developed and deployed open source geo-spatial and web mapping software for libraries, archives and civil society organisations.

NYPLFrom 2008 to 2014 Topomancy LLC developed and supported the NYPL Map Warper, a crowd-sourcing web application for Improvementgeo-referencing historical maps. These remain in daily use by scholars, students and citizens at the New York Public Library (NYPL), the Harvard University Center for Geographic Analysis (CGA), and the National Environment Protection Agency (NEPA).

Library of CongressTopomancy developed the Digital Gazetteer (or Chronology of Places) database and web services API for the Library of Congress, to search and discover historical place names in large collections across changing times and spaces, deployed for internal use at the Library of Congress since 2012.

NEHTopomancy’s work with the New York Public Library Maps Division and NYPL Labs received grants from the National Endowment for Humanities (NEH) Office of Digital Humanities (2011 and 2012), and the Cutting Edge Technology in Library Services Award from the American Library Association (ALA) (2012).

Harvard WorldMapTopomancy consulted for the Harvard University Center for Geographic Analysis Center for Geographic Analysis (CGA)(CGA) where I am on the Advisory Board of the Harvard University Worldmap Project. We also completed projects for the Stanford University Humanities Center, NiCHE (Network in Canadian History of Environment), MapQuest and the Columbia University Millenium Villages Project (2008-2010).

ZoteroFrom 2007-2008 I was a Mozilla Foundation Fellow and technology evangelist for the free and open source bibliographic tool Zotero at the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media (CHNM) at George Mason University.

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From 2003-2005 I worked with Mahiti Infotech as a technology consultant and web developer for non-profits and NGOs in Mumbai, Pune and Bangalore.

PUKAR (Partners for Urban Knowledge Action & ResearchFrom 2000 to 2003, I was one of the founders and then the Associate Director of PUKAR (Partners for Urban Knowledge Action & Research) in Mumbai, where I worked with Professor Arjun Appadurai and the late Profesor Carol Breckenridge.

KRVIA (Kamala Raheja Vidyanidhi Institute of Architecture)From 1999 to 2005, I taught and worked at design and architecture colleges in Mumbai and Bangalore.Srishti School of Art Design & TechnologyI founded and was Joint Convenor of the Mumbai Study Group at the Academy of Architecture from 1999 to 2002. I was Visiting Faculty at the Kamala Raheja Vidyanidhi Institute of Architecture & Environmental Studies (KRVIA) in Mumbai and at the Srishti School of Art Design & Technology.

Between 1999 and 2000 Human Rights Law Network (HRLN)I worked as a labour and trade union reporter with the India Centre for Human Rights & Law (ICHRL) and researcher and publicist for the Girni Kamgar Sangharsh Samiti (Mill Workers Action Committee) and Lokshahi Hakk Sanghatana (Organisation for Democratic Rights) (1998-99).

School of Oriental & African Studies (SOAS)I completed my M.A. in South Asian Studies at the School of Oriental & African Studies (SOAS), University of London (1998-1999) where my thesis “Analytics of Caste Power in Modern India: Discourse Antagonism & Hegemony” was awarded a distinction. I was also a freelance and features writer with the Indian Express Mumbai Newsline, Satyam Online, and Rediff on the Net during and after college (1997-2000).