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Ranjani Srinivasan

Ranjani Srinivasan is a Doctoral Candidate in Urban Planning at Columbia GSAPP. They hold a Bachelor’s in Design from CEPT University in Ahmedabad and was awarded with the Fulbright Nehru and Inlaks Scholarships to pursue their master’s degree in Critical Conservation at the Graduate School of Design, Harvard University. Their graduate research: “Gold & Cyanide: Family, Caste, and the Post-extractive Landscape at Kolar Gold Fields” explored the continuities and transformations of caste rights within extractive economies in postcolonial India and received support from the Lakshmi Mittal South Asia Institute. Prior to starting their PhD at Columbia, Ranjani worked as a project associate at an environmental conservation and planning advocacy nonprofit in Washington, D.C where they campaigned for critical landscapes and frontier communities at-risk from climate change. They have also worked as an urban researcher for the West Philadelphia Landscape Project (WPLP) at the Department of Urban Studies and Planning, MIT, and a field researcher for international development agencies in South Asia.
They are broadly interested in urbanization, the political economy of development, and historical geographies of capitalism and caste. Their current research focuses on the transformations of gold mining frontiers in the Central Schist Belt of Karnataka, India, from 1880 to the present in relation to labour movements, state-formation, colonial rule, and global capitalist restructuring. Their work builds upon critiques of the colonial approach to industrialization in India and specifically centers the relationship between ecological value relations and the production of caste-specific geographies.