Independent fellowships >2006-2007 l 2005-2006 l 2004-2005 l 2003-2004 l 2002-2003 l 2001-2002





(list is alphabetical by last name)

Priya Babu, Chennai.
Performance in the Aravani (Transgender) Community in Tamilnadu

Dwaipayan Banerjee, Delhi.
Towards A Postcolonial Code

Smita Banerjee, Delhi.
Cinematic City: A Study of 1950s and 1960s Popular Bangla Cinema

Julius Basaiawmoit & Renee C. Lulam, Shillong.
The Changing Faces of Democratic Spaces in Urban Cosmopolitan Shillong

Mithun Narayan Bose, Kolkata.
Tracing Life from the Stroke: Documenting the Rickshaw-Painting of Kolkata Streets

Pritham Chakravarty, Chennai.
Urban Sabha Dramas

Arnab Chatterjee, Kolkata.
Beyond Private and Public: New Perspectives on Personal and Personalist Social Work

Neelima Chauhan, Delhi:

(“The Linked Mind of the Blogged Hindi Jati: A Hypertextual Study of Hindi Blogs”)

Raman Jit Singh Chima, Bangalore.
The Regulation of the Internet by the Indian State through Legal Structures and Mechanisms

Burton Cleetus, Delhi.
Urbanisation, Western Medicine and Modernity: The Rockefeller Foundation in Travancore

Ajit Kr. Dvivedi, Delhi.

("Media Study: Comparative Reporting on Ceilings and Displacement from Jamuna Pushta”)

Anuja Ghoshalkar, Mumbai.
Papa Aajoba.

Ranu Ghosh, Kolkata.
The Changing Industrial Landscape of Kolkata: Jay Engineering Works

Sukanya Ghosh, Mumbai.
Animation and the Development Ideal: The Idea of Nation, the Socialist Impetus and Animation Film Design in India

Rajeev Ranjan Giri, Delhi.

(“The Public World of the Journal Saraswati, 1900-1920”)

M.S. Harilal, Thiruvananthapuram,
Adopting Modernisation, Negotiating Modernisation: Modern and Traditional Ayurvedic Sectors in the Context of Transformation

Zaigham Imam, Delhi/Allahabad
(“Railways of Dreams”)

Santana Issar & Aditi Saraf, Delhi.
Old Dog, New Tricks: Rethinking Animal Activism in an Urban Context

Vivek Kumar Jain, Delhi.

(“A Study of Social and Cultural Spaces on the DU Campus”)

Deepak Kadyan, Delhi.
Popular Musical Traditions and the Configuration of Jat Identity in Haryana

Ram Ganesh Kamatham, Bangalore.
Vikram and Vetal: A Contemporary Urban Play

Shahnawaz Khan, Srinagar.
Entertainment Ghosts in Srinagar: A Tale of Cinema Halls in the City

Arvind Kumar, Delhi.
Caste Violence in Urban Maharashtra: A Study of the 1974 Worli Riots and the Dalit Panthers Movement

Ramesh Kumar, Delhi.
Film Exhibition Spaces in Delhi

Gyaltsen Lama, Gangtok, Sikkim.
Shamans in the City: Research and Documentation for a Comic Book

Madhura Lokohare, Pune.
Exploring the ‘Vartaphalak’ Culture in Pune City

Nalin Mathur, Delhi.
B-Grade Engineering College Culture

Meena Menon, Mumbai.
Recovering Lost Histories: Riot Victims and Communal Polarisation in Mumbai

Yateendra Mishra, Allahabad.

("The Intimate Ayodhya”)

Sayandeb Mukherjee, Hyderabad.
Corridors: The Psycho-Acoustics of Corridor-Like Spaces

Shubhra Nagalia, Allahabad.
Representation of Communal Riots in the Hindi Media: The Case of the Mau Riots

Sugata Nandi, Kolkata.
Eventful Adolescence, Memorable Youth: The Politics of Personal Reminiscences in Kolkata, 1947-67

Gauri Paliwal, Indirapuram.

(“Because Every Blog Has Something to Say”)

Bipul Pande, Delhi.
(“Proof Of Residence”)

Vijay Kumar Pandey, Meerut.

(“The Publishing Industry of Meerut”)

Zubin Pastakia, Mumbai.
A Photographic Study of Bombay’s Cinema Halls as a Cultural Experience of Space

Gopaljee Pradhan, Silchar.

(“The North-East in Hindi Literature”)

Alok Puranik, Delhi.

(“A Historical Study of Bazaar Reporting in Hindi Newspapers”)

Mohit Kumar Ray & Soma Ghosh, Kolkata.
Heritage Ponds of Kolkata: A Contemporary History

P. Jenny Rowena & Carmel Christy, Hyderabad.
‘Where Some Autorickshaws Run, Others Burn’: Caste, Class and Gender in the Urban Space of Keralam.

Inder Salim, Delhi.
Towards Maha-Performances.

Abhik Samanta, Kolkata.
The Visual Art of the Gita Press

Surojit Sen, Chandannagar, Hooghly.
Chandannagar and the Displacement of Prostitutes

Yoginder Sikand and Naseemur Rahman, Delhi.
The Shaping of Muslim Identities and the Role of Muslim Publishing Houses in Delhi

Surya Prakash Upadhyay, Mumbai.
Guru on the Air: Televised Hinduism in Contemporary India

Shiju Sam Varughese, Delhi.
The Public Sphere as a Site of Knowledge Production: Negotiations Over Tremors, Well Collapses and Coloured Rains in the Malayalam Press

T. Venkat, Chennai.
Building the Indian Dream: Living and Working Conditions of Migrant Workers on Chennai’s IT Corridor

Chitra Venkataramani, Mumbai.
Hygiene and the City: A Graphic Novel

Shafia Wani, Srinagar.
Aesthetics of Resistance and Women in Kashmir

Ranjan Yumnam, Imphal.
Imphalwood: Digital Revolution and the Death of Celluloid


Applications are invited for the upcoming cycle of Sarai-CSDS Independent Research Fellowships.

The Sarai Programme, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi
Sarai is a programme of the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS), Delhi. CSDS is one of India's best known research centres, with traditions of dissent and a commitment to the work of the public intellectual going back four decades. The Sarai Programme at CSDS was initiated in 2000 as a platform for discursive and creative collaboration between theorists, researchers and practitioners actively engaged in reflecting on contemporary urban spaces in South Asia — their politics, built form, ecology, culture and history — as well as on the histories, practices and politics of information and communication technologies, the public domain and media forms.

*The Purpose of the Independent Fellowship *

The Sarai-CSDS Independent Fellowships allow the time for individuals from diverse backgrounds to either begin or continue research into specific aspects of media and urban culture and society, broadly and creatively defined, and to also think carefully and rigorously about the various public forms in which their research might be rendered. We are also interested in using the materials generated through the research to continue to build up our thematic archive of research on the city. Thus, we see the fellowship as an important source for this archive. Finally, an important purpose of the fellowship program is to spark, overlap and allow access to newly emerging research networks across disciplines, academic and non-academic institutions, organisations, practices, geographical locations and professional backgrounds.

We are thus invested in the idea of what we call public and distributed research , where new knowledge is created and shaped from a variety of locations, and not just in a top-down fashion. Participants in the fellowship programme are expected to have a very strong and independent motivation towards the pursuit of their own specialised areas of research, but also to respond to and critique the research of others in the programme as intelligent non-specialists, and be open to suggestions and comments from non-specialists.

Each year, a large number of the fellowships are awarded to projects that deploy standard methodologies and forms from the humanities and social sciences towards what we feel are justly deserving, new and emergent areas of research. We would like to not lose sight of these tried and tested methodologies in the humanities and social sciences, and will place a special emphasis on them this year. However, a significant number of fellowships are also awarded to projects that are innovative both in terms of what they consider to be research, as well as the variety of purposes and forms to which that research is applied. As a result, we encourage the inclusion of individuals with little or no previous formal research experience who want to pursue, more rigorously, a passion for a tightly-focused, feasible, understudied research topic; and equally, we encourage individuals with seasoned research experience in a conventional context to experiment with forms that are relatively new to them.

For detailed abstracts of successful proposals from previous years, please visit and click on the link for "Independent Fellowships" on the left-hand sidebar.

* Conditions *

--For administrative purposes, applicants are required to be resident in India, and to have an account in any bank operating in India.

--Applications can be in Hindi or in English. The research work and presentation can also be in either Hindi, English, or a combination of the two languages.

*Please note that this year the schedule for the Independent Fellows programme has changed.*
--The research fellowship will run from March 2007 to the end of October 2007, with a final workshop that all fellows are expected to attend. It will award up to Rs 70,000 during this period.

--Fellows will be required to make a minimum of six postings, one per month, on Sarai's "reader-list" email listserve, between February and the end of August 2007.

--A working draft or initial prototype of the final work will be expected by the end of September. The final presentation of the research project will be made in Delhi at the beginning of November 2007.

--The fellowships do not require the fellows to be resident at Sarai.

--Although participation in the fellowship programme does require a substantial time commitment — to the research, the postings on progress, and interaction with other researchers and projects in the fellowship cycle — participants are also welcome to pursue the fellowship research in addition to their primary occupations or commitments to other fellowships or grants, if any.

--Proposals from teams, partnerships, collectives and faculty are welcome, as long as the grant amount is administered by and through a single individual, and the funds are deposited in a single bank account in the name of an individual, partnership, registered body or institutional entity.

--Applicants who apply to other institutions for support for the same project will not be disqualified, provided they inform Sarai if and when support is being sought (or has been obtained) from another institution. The applicants should also inform Sarai about the identity of the other institution.

* What Do You Need To Send, Where and When? *

There are no application forms. Simply send us by postal mail your:

1. Name(s), email address(es), phone(s), and postal address(es).
2. Proposal (not more than 1200 words) including details of the subject, process, mode of public presentation and rationale for the research. Your proposal will be greatly strengthened if you are also able to indicate the kinds of materials that you think your research project would be able to generate for the Sarai archive . In the past, fellows have submitted transcripts of interviews, photographs, recordings, printed matter, maps, multimedia and posters, related to the subject of their study, to this archive.

3. Two work samples: if possible, the samples of previous work done should give us a sense of your preferred mode of public presentation for this project (e.g., academic research paper, narrative prose, multimedia, video, performance, photography, installation, sound recording, "creative" writing, prototype design, combinations of the above, etc.) and also suggest to us how you might understand your upcoming research process for this fellowship. The work samples can — but do not necessarily have to — make reference to the current research topic.

4. A clear work plan (not more than one page) with, if possible, a month-by-month breakdown of the research work.

5. An updated CV (not more than two pages) for each applicant, and a short text (about half a page) giving us your intellectual biography.
--Send these to: ATTN: I-FELLOWS PROPOSAL 2005-2006, Independent Fellowship Programme, Sarai, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, 29 Rajpur Road, Delhi 110054, India.

--Enquiries: for English proposals, for Hindi proposals.

--Last date for submission: English proposals should be postmarked on or before Tuesday, October 31, 2006; Hindi proposals should be postmarked on or before Monday, November 13, 2006.

--The list of successful proposals for 2007 will be announced on the Sarai website, and on Sarai's email list,, between the end of December 2006 and the beginning January 2007. For more details on joining the reader-list, please visit and click on "LISTS@Sarai".

*Who Can Apply? *

There is absolutely no pre-qualification required for application to the Sarai-CSDS Independent Fellowship. Sarai invites independent researchers, media practitioners, working professionals, software designers and programmers, urbanists, architects, artists and writers, as well as students (postgraduate level and above) and university/college faculty to apply for support for research-driven projects.

* What Other Fellowships Does Sarai Offer?*

Sarai offers an exciting "Student Stipendship" for students at academic institutions wishing to pursue closely mentored and innovative research (contact: Sadan Jha, and a "FLOSS Independent Fellowship" for programmers and coders wishing to develop free and open source software (contact: Gora Mohanty, Please note that the Sarai Media Fellowships have been discontinued.


*Why Research? What Do We Mean by Research? *

Sarai is committed to generating public knowledge and creativity through research. Hence the support for research driven projects and processes. The fellowships are in the nature of small grants in order to emphasise the initiation and founding of projects that would otherwise go unsupported.

By research we mean both archival and field research, and forays into theoretical work as well as any process or activity of an experimental or creative nature — for instance in the audiovisual media, as well as in journalism or the humanities and social sciences, or in architecture and socially attuned computing.

We are especially interested in supporting projects that formulate precise and cogent intellectual questions, reflect on modes of understanding that implicate knowledge production within a critical social framework, foregrounding processes of gathering information and of creating links between bodies of information. We also encourage research that is based on a strong engagement with archival materials and imaginative ways of tackling the question of the public rendition of research activity.

* The Experience of Previous Years *
This is the sixth year in which Sarai is calling for proposals for such fellowships. We would like to describe how the process has worked in previous years, as an indication of what applicants should expect.

These included work toward projects based on investigative reportage of urban issues; essays on everyday life; a history of urban Dalit performance traditions; soundscapes of the city; a graphic novel about Delhi; a documentation of the free software movement in India; research on displacement and rehabilitation in cities; interpretative catalogues of wall writings and public signages; digital manipulation of popular studio portrait photographs; the limitations of language in shrinking public spaces in Srinagar; histories of cinema halls and studios in Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata; a study of the world of popular crime fiction in Bengali; reflections on the Kashmiri 'encounter' in Delhi, and many others. Successful applicants included freelance researchers, academics, media practitioners, artists, writers, journalists, activists and professionals such as nurses and bankers.

The projects were submitted in English, Hindi or a combination of the two languages. We have seen that projects that set important but practical and modest goals were usually successful, whereas those that may have been conceptually sound but lacked sufficient motivation to actually pursue a research objective on the field, usually did not take off beyond the interim stage.

Sarai interacts closely with the researchers over the period of the fellowship, and the independent fellows make a public presentation of their work at Sarai at the end of their fellowship period. During the term of their fellowship each fellow is required to make a posting to our email list every month, reporting on the development of their work. These postings, which are archived, are an important means by which the research process reaches a wider discursive community. They also help us to trace the progress of work during the grant period, and understand how the research interfaces with a larger public.

Submissions at the end of the fellowship period included written reports and essays, photographs, tape recordings, audio CDs, video, pamphlets, maps, drawings and html presentations. Fellows have made their final presentations in the form of academic papers, lecture-demonstrations and performances.

* What Happens to the Research Projects? *
The annual research projects add to our increasingly substantial archival collections on urban space and media culture. These are proving to be very significant value additions to the availability of knowledge resources in the public domain. Researchers are free to publish or render any part or all of their projects in any forms, independently of Sarai (but with due acknowledgment of the support that they have received from Sarai). Sarai Independent Research Fellows have gone on to publish articles in journals, work towards the making of films, exhibitions, websites, multimedia works and performances, and the creation of graphic novels, soundworks and books. We actively encourage all such efforts.

* What We Are Looking For *
As in the past, this year too we are looking for proposals that are imaginatively articulated, experimental and methodologically innovative, but which are pragmatic and backed up by a well-argued work plan which sets out a timetable for the project, as well as suggests how the support will help with specific resources (human and material) that the project needs.

Suggested Themes:
Sarai's interests lie in the city and in media. Broadly speaking, any proposal that looks at the urban condition, or at media, is eligible. Proposals for projects that seek to push disciplinary limits and boundaries or break new ground, that offer fresh and detailed empricial insights, that desire to engage with questions and problems pertaining to cities, urban culture, media from a philosophically and conceptually enriched terrain of inquiry are especially welcome. We are committed to methodological and analytic rigour even as we are also keen to engage with sensibilities and registers of thought that are oppositional, dissident, heretical, imaginative and poetic.

More specifically, themes may be as diverse as the experience of work in different locations, institutions and work cultures, histories of urban sexuality, heretical figures and imaginations, histories of particular media practices, legality and illegality, migration, transportation, surveillance, intellectual property, social/digital interfaces, urban violence, street life, technologies of urban control, health and the city, the political economy of media forms, digital art and culture, or anything else that the applicants feel will resonate with the philosophy and interests that motivate Sarai's work.

We are particularly interested in work that comes from non-metropolitan and mofussil urban spaces, even though we continue to look for strong projects that articulate the realities of major cities.


The Sarai- CSDS Independent Fellows 2006

Arshad Amanullah, New Delhi
Journalism in Madrasas and Madrasas in Journalism

Daljit Ami, Chandigarh
Celluloid and Compact Disks in Punjab

Maitrey Bajpai, Mumbai

Samit Basu, New Delhi
The Trousers of Time: Possible Futures of Indian Speculative Fiction in English

Rudradeep Bhattacharjee, Mumbai
Freedom in Cyberspace in the Context of India: A video documentary

Tushar Bhor, Mumbai
Water Lenses: Prelude for a New Imagination for Urban Water in Mumbai

Budhaditya Chattopadhyay, Kolkata
Bishnupur Gharana: Story of a Forgotten Melody: Restoring the sound of Bishnupur Gharana

Averee Chaurey, New Delhi
The Song of the Baul

Ayesha Sen Choudhury, Kolkata
Locating Sexuality Through the Eyes of Afghan and Burmese Refugee Women in Delhi

Dilip D'Souza, Mumbai
Village in the city: Bombay in microcosm

Pravasi Ilaqe mein telephone booth sanskriti
(The culture of telephone booths)

Uddipana Goswami, Guwahati
City as Setting: Reflections of the Changing Faces of Guwahati in Assamese Literature

Peerzada Arshad Hamid, Anantnag
Exploring the Space of Psychiatric Hospitals in Srinagar

Rakshat Hooja, Jaipur
Urban Stakeholder Activism and the Role of Resident Welfare Associations

Farhana Ibrahim, Gurgaon
Maritime Histories: Merchant Networks and the Production of Locality in Western India

Lakshmi IndraSimhan and Jacob Weinstein , New Delhi
Vending as Vernacular: Depicting Street Sales and Services through Sequential Art

Brajesh Kumar Jha, Delhi
Hindi Cinemayee geet aur uska Bhashayee safar
(The Language Journeys of Hindi Cinema)

Anjali Jyoti, New Delhi
Home Street Home: A Street Child Survival Guide for Delhi

Sunandan K.N., New Delhi
Workshop Boys of Coimbatore: A Study of City and Tacit Knowledge

Akshaye Khanna, New Delhi
Apni Jagah, Zarah Hut Ke: A “Staged Ethnography” of Space and Sexuality

Naresh Kumar, New Delhi
Festival of Music in the City of Sports: Harballabh Sangeet Mela of Jalandhar

Prabhat Kumar, Delhi
Yuvak Sangh aur ‘Yuvak': 1920 ke dashak mein Bihar ka bauddhik parivesh
(Yuvak Sangh and the ‘Yuvak' magazine in the intellectual public sphere in 1920s Bihar)

Rajesh Kumar K, Trivandrum
An Ethnography of Teyyam Performance from a Practitioner's Point of View

Udaykumar M, New Delhi
Unravelling a 'Real' Media Incident in Trivandrum

Mallica, New Delhi
Identities and Aspirations of Tibetan Youth in New Delhi

Mamta Mantri, Mumbai
Movie Theatres on and Around Maulana Shaukat Ali Road, Mumbai

Abhinandita Mathur Veenu Mathur , New Delhi
My building and the Shahar

Rajesh Mehar, Bangalore
Exploring Notions of Creative Ownership Among Contemporary Musicians

Kamal Kumar Mishra
Hindi Hridaysthali mein Jasoosi Upanyason va Inkey Paathakon ka Ek Samajik Itihas
(A social history of detective novels and their readers in the Hindi heartland)

Sanjeev Ranjan Mishra, Delhi
Gyan-vinimay ki nayi takneekein aur mel banate Dalit
(The New Technologies of Knowledge-flow and the Dalits)

Izhar Ahmed Nadeem, Delhi
Muslim Mahilaon ki Urdu Patrikayo ki Duniya
(Urdu Women's Magazines: Their impact on Muslim Women)

Veena Naregal,
Informal Economies and Cultural Patronage: Studying Bollywood

John Patrick Ojwando, Bangalore
An Exploration of the Experiences of Afro students in South Asia

Anil Pandey, NOIDA
Desi Filmon ka Karobar
(An analysis of the desi films trade)

Piyush Pandey, Delhi
News Channelon ka Satyakathakaran
(The Satyakathaization of News Channels, on the compulsive crime reporting on TV)

Rahul Pandita, Delhi
Byte Soldier: The Life and Times of a Metro TV Reporter: A Graphic Novel in Hindi

Janice Erica Pariat, New Delhi
Writing the Notion of Home and Urban Space

Sudipta Paul, West Bengal
Response of the Labour Force to the Changing Urban Formation in the Asansol Industrial Area, West Bengal

Dripta Piplai, New Delhi
The Hegemony of Calcutta Music Schools in Tagore Songs: Towards an Archival Preservation of 'Multiple Traditions in Rabindrasangeet'

Vasundhara Prakash, New Delhi
15 Seconds of Fame: Extras in Bollywood

Nandita Raman
Dilli ke cinemagharon ka badalta swaroop: ek chhayachitraN
(The changing face of Delhi's cinema halls)

Nithya V Raman, Chennai
Disaster Politics: An Examination of Tsunami Relief in Chennai

Kaushiki Rao, New Delhi
Transplanting the Urban Aesthetic in a Resettlement Colony in Delhi

Rama Rao
Ladkiyon ke College ka sarvajanik telephone aur ab har hath mein mobile
(Then and Now: The public telephone in girls' colleges and the mobile phone)

Rinchin, Bhopal
Tracing the History of Girl's Education in a Small Town Through the Eyes of its First Woman Teacher

Vikhar Ahmed Sayeed, Chennai
Indian Print Media and its Reportage on Fatwas

Nirupama Sekhar and Sanjay Ramchandran , Mumbai
Urban Stories: A Collection of Graphic Essays on the City of Mumbai

Debjani Sengupta, New Delhi
Colony Fiction: Refugee Colonies and their Representation in Post-Partition Kolkata

Aman Sethi, New Delhi
Seeking Alternative Ways and Means of Representing the “Poor and the Oppressed” by Studying Informal Networks at Labour Mandis in Delhi

Ram Murthi Sharma, UNA, Himachal
An Analysis of Magazines in Braille

Parismita Singh, New Delhi
Babel in Humayunpur, the Gift of Difference: a Comic Book Exploring Migrant Experience

Sidharth Srinivasan, New Delhi
A photoroman feature film: a Love Story Intertwined with the Myth and Folklore of Delhi's Heritage Sites

Sheba Tejani, Mumbai
Queer Cityscapes: Exploring Mumbai Cityscapes through the Eyes of Two Queer Women.

Mrityunjay Tripathi, Allahabad
Allahabad ki Chhatra Rajniti
(Student politics in Allahabad)

Indu Verma, Mumbai
Society and the Soap Factory

Aamit Rai, Wardha
Harsud aur media
(Harsud and the Media)

Syed Mohd. Yunus and Syed Mohd Faisal, Delhi
Asahay Mahanagar: Help Line karyakartaon ke najariye Se Dilli Shahar ka Adhyayan
(Helpless City: A Study of Delhi from the Perspective of Help Line Workers)


Independent Fellwoship Workshop

Day 01 :: Wednesday, 24 August

9.00-9.30 : Registration

9.30-10.00 : Opening Statements: Shuddhabrata Sengupta / Vivek Narayanan

10.00-11.30 : The Grid, the Relay and the Reality

Karen Coelho, Tapping In: Urban Water Conflicts as Citizenship Claims in Chennai
Muthatha Ramanathan, Tracing Spatial Technology in the Rural Development Landscape of South India
B. Mahesh Sarma, Contending Techno-Paradigms of Contested Public Space: The Politics of CNG

11.40-1.10 : Re-imagined Communities

Nitoo Das, Hypertextual Poetry: A Study of MSN Poetry Communities
Kiran Jonnalagadda, An Investigation of how Form Affects Discussion and Community in Online Discussion Spaces
Anannya Mehtta, The Viewership of Non-Commercial and Independent Film in Delhi

2.10-3.40 : Stardust Histories

T. Vishnu Vardhan, The Impact of Mythologicals in Telugu Cinema
Abhishek Sharma, The Colorisation of Mughal-e-Azam
Prashant Pandey, Documenting the Contemporary History of the Making of the Hindi Film Song

3.55-5.25 : Performing the Local

Archana Jha, Nautanki Shahar mein: Audyogik Nagri Kanpur mein Lok Manch Kala ke Vikas wa Patan ka Anveshan (Nautanki in the Industrial City of Kanpur: A Historical Study)
Sunil Kumar, Aa Mata Tujhe Dil ne Pukara: Kahani Dilli ki Jagaran Partiyon ki (Jagaran Tales in Delhi)
S.M. Irfan, Awazein FM Radio ki (Voices of FM Radio)

5.45-6.15 : Lecture-demonstration
Urmila Bhirdikar, The Relationship between the Production and Consumption of Thumri and Allied Forms: The Female Impersonator - Bal Gandharva


Day 02 :: Thursday, 25 August

10.00-11.30 : Plotting Economic Geographies

Vandana Swami, An Allegorical, Historical Journey into the Archives of the Great Indian Peninsular Railway
S. Ananth, The Culture of Business: The Informal Sector and Finance Business in Vijaywada
Prasad Shetty, Stories of New Entrepreneurship
Faraaz Mehmood, A Study of Changing Banking Practices in Udaipur

11.45-12.45 : Imprinting Identities - 1

Uddipan Dutta, The Growth of Print Nationalism and Assamese Identity in Two Early Assamese Magazines
T.P. Sabitha, Early Women's Magazines in Kerala and the Construction of Femininity

1.45-3.15 : Imprinting Identities - 2

Himanshu Ranjan, Hindi-Urdu Kshetra ke Ek Sanskritik Kendra ke Roop mein Ilahabad ka Vikas aur Hastakshep (The Development of Allahabad and its Intervention as a Cultural Centre of the Hindi-Urdu Belt)
Jitendra Srivastava, Ek Shahar ke Roop mein Gorakhpur ki Pehchan mein Gita Press aur Kalyan ki Bhoomika (The Role of Gita Press and Kalyan in the Making of Gorakhpur's Identity)
Anurag, Laghu Patrika Andolan: Abhivyakti ke Naye Aayam, Ek Padtal (The Little Magazine Movement: New Dimensions of Expression)

3.30-5.30 : Assembling the Textured Narrative

Rochelle Pinto, Manuel in the City: A Semi-Fictionalised Illustrated Book on the Arrival and Absorption of Goan Migrants to Mumbai
Vasudha Joshi, History and Storytelling about Kolkata and Howrah: Integrating Narratives and Database
Soudhamini, Madurai: Mythical City - Representations Old and New
Vijender Singh Chauhan, Beeti Vibhavari Jaag Ri: Dilli ke City-scape mein Dik wa Kaal (Time and Space in the Cityscape of Delhi)

5.50-6.20 : Lecture Demonstration
Sumangala Damodaran, Protest Through Music: A Documentation and Analysis of the Structure, Content and Context of the Musical Tradition of the IPTA


Day 03 :: Friday, 26 August

10.00-11.30 : Anatomy of Urban Fantasies - 1

Sovan Tarafder, A Brief History of New Urban Leisure in Kolkata
Lakshmi Kutty, High-rise Hygiene: Narrativising Mumbai's New Urban Culture
Prayas Abhinav, Publicity Promises in the Public Space in Ahmedabad

11.45-12.45 : Anatomy of Urban Fantasies - 2

Mario Rodrigues, The Political Sociology of Golf in South Asia
Pankaj Rishi Kumar, Ponytails-Rings-Punches: Female Boxers in India

1.45-3.15 : Trajectories of Work and Experience

Nagarik Mancha, Factory Closures, Plight of Workers and Urban Space
Syed Khalid Jamal, Work Culture in Fast Food Chains
Kuldeep Kaur, The Hospital Labour Room as a Space for Unheard Voices

3.30-5.00 : The City and its Strangers

Subhalakshmi Roy & Bodhisattva Kar, Messing with the Bhadraloks: Towards a Social History of the Mess Houses in Calcutta, 1890s-1990s
Abdus Salam, Strangers in the City: the Lives and Longings of Bangladeshi Immigrants in Guwahati
Debkamal Ganguly, The Culture of Crime Pulp Fiction in Bengal

5.30-6.00 : Presentation / Performance
Mahmood U. R. Farooqui, Tale Tellers: Dastangoyee - The Culture of Storytelling in Urdu


Day 04 :: Saturday, 27 August

10.30-12.30 : Affects and Effects of Neighbourhoods

Meera Pillai, Foodcourts and Footbridges: Conceptualising Space in Vijaywada Railway Station
Sudeshna Chatterjee, Children's Friendship with Place: Investigating Environmental Child Friendliness for Children in New Delhi
Madhavi Desai, Women and their Spatial Narratives in the City of Ahmedabad
Kaiwan Mehta, Reading Histories - Migration and Culture: The Politics of Mapping and Representation of Urban Communities

1.30-3.30 : Tracing the Margins

Tasneem, Fatima and Marya, Death and the Bazaar: A Look at the Death Care Industry
Prem Kumar Tiwari, Dilli ka Ek Pravasi Gaon: Sahipur, Shalimarbagh (Sahipur: A Migrant Village in Delhi)
Sabir Haque, Nidhi Bal Singh, and Leena Rani Narzary, The Eastern Yamuna River Bed: Ecological Imbalance and Future Implications
Gurminder Singh, Samaj par Langar ka Arthik wa Samajik Pravav: Ek Adhyayan (A Study of the Langar and its Social and Economic Impact)

3.45-5.30 : Contextualising Trauma

Shivam Vij, The Nature of Ragging in Hostels
Swara Bhaskar and Moyukh Chatterjee, Of Riots and Ruins: Space and Violence in Vatva, Ahmedabad
Syed Bismillah Geelani, The Kashmiri Encounter in Delhi
Hilal Bhat, Shrine as an Anodyne in Strife-Torn Kashmir

5.45-7.00 pm : Interactive Feedback / Critique Session on the Independent Fellowship Programm

Sarai/CSDS Independent Fellowship (December 2004-May 2005)

1. Publicity, Promises & the Public Space in Ahmedabad
Prayas Abhinav, Ahmedabad

This project will conduct research into the practices of public communication, commercial as well as personal, in Ahmedabad and thereby document the broken links between the "promises and commitments" made by these practices and their delivery.
This could go on to suggest reasons why and how the dreams, desires, needs of citizens become habituated to remain unfulfilled. This would also explain how these dreams, desires and needs increasingly become space- and freedom- oriented, and how the pressure of existence (which exhibits in both working and personal lives) manifests.

2. The Culture of Business : The Informal Sector and Finance Business in Vijaywada
S. Ananth, Vijaywada

This project will look at the phenomenon of globalisation as it manifests itself at the local level and in day-to-day economic practices. The primary objective of the study is to demonstrate the manner in which the culture of business at the local level is impacted by the phenomenon of globalisation. The study will look at the finance sector in the coastal Andhra Pradesh city of Vijayawada in order to show the changes in business culture with the advent of globalisation. The finance sector in Vijayawada, as in many other parts of India, is characterised by an interesting relationship between the informal and formal business establishments.

The research will analyse the manner in which the two reinforce and complement each other and show how the informal sector has been affected by the changes that have resulted from globalisation and also the structural adjustment of the Indian economy. The study is inter-disciplinary in nature and method. First, the study attempts to reinterpret what is generally presumed to be the domain of pure economics in terms of cultural history, and therefore makes a strong argument for the cultural foundations of economic activity. Second, the study employs the methodology of oral history such as structured and unstructured interviews to access material and information related to the field of study.

3. Laghu Patrika Andolan: Abhivyakti ke Naye Aayam: Ek Partal
(Little Magazine Movement: New Dimensions of Expression)

Anurag, Ghaziabad

This work will address the world of expansive world of Hindi 'little magazines' - its history, its sociology, politics but most importantly, its economics. What still makes it an attractive idea? Why do magazines die? What is the average reach of a magazine? What are the networks of production and distribution? What are the special publication strategies that make one magazine look different from others? Why do we see so many special issues with guest editors? These are some of the questions that will be asked at the outset.

4. The Shrine as an Anodyne in Strife-Torn Kashmir
Hilal Bhat, Srinagar

The researcher intends to work on changing environs of shrines in conflict-devastated Kashmir, where thousands of devotees take refuge in the absence of modern alternatives for dealing with the stress. In the wake of chaos and mayhem in Kashmir, a shrine remains the sole place where the victims of violence have a chance of getting rejuvenated.

Minds exposed to a continual violence need to either come to terms with or transcend the violent event. This process can be arrived at with the help of a facilitator. In many modern societies, the facilitator might be a psychiatrist. In a cultural milieu where spirituality is more pervasive, the figure of the saint lends itself to the role of a psychic facilitator.

The shrine, not only in its spirituality but also in its aesthetic, evokes a sense of serenity. The aesthetic of the shrines in Kashmir couples their architecture and layouts with a supremely appropriate sense of site. Combined, these factors produce an effect that is spectacular. This research will attempt to track the motivations that make people turn to these places for peace of mind and also gain an idea of how intimately the spiritual and the aesthetic flow into each other. The researcher will delve into an appreciation of shrines in Srinagar as a spiritual, aesthetic, social environments and consider the manner in which these significations provide a therapeutic space.

5. The Relationship Between the Production and Consumption of Thumri and Allied Forms:
The Female Impersonator Bal Gandharva

Urmila Bhirdikar, Pune

This project investigates the relationship between the production-consumption of the North Indian musical genre of thumri (and other allied forms) through gramophone records and the fashioning of the songs of the female characters in Marathi Sangeet Natak tradition, with special emphasis on the female impersonator actor Bal Gandharva.
Though the tradition of stage music in Maharashtra is long, it is not a single tradition, but shaped periodically by musical genres outside this commercial theatre in the late-19th and early-20th century. The nexus between the musical genres and their adoption in theatre reveal the composite nature of this theatre, which drew from the current musical (as well as other artistic) practices.

The emphasis of this project is on the beginning of the second decade of the twentieth century, when the north Indian genres of thumri and other "semi-classical" forms were thought to be suitable for representing the "respectable" woman in through theatre. This adoption reveals an interesting relation between the conventional understanding of the thumri genre with kachcha gaana (which also implies less respectable) and the newly emerging discourse of respectability in Marathi theatre. Further, the presentation of the Marathi songs (natya pada) itself seems to have been influenced by the way in which the baijis presented their music through the medium of gramophone records of the 78 rpm era, inviting attention to the shaping of music in the gramophone record format.

The analysis will take into consideration not only the historical and cultural aspects of this phenomenon, but also the musicological aspects of producing and consuming music through gramophone records. Additionally I also propose to look at the apathetic reception of Bal Gandharva's music when rendered by a "real" woman, Goharbai Karnataki, with reference to the debate on the entry of women into theatre in the 1930s.

6. Of Riots and Ruins : Space and Violence in Vatva, Ahmedabad
Moyukh Chatterjee and Swara Bhaskar, Delhi

Our proposed area of study is a conglomeration of colonies inhabited by Muslims, Hindus and Dalits, located in Vatva, an industrial (previously agrarian) area on the outskirts of Ahmedabad. It was a site of violence during the 2002 carnage and is now informed by post-violence "compromised" peace. We wish to map on this spatial-geographic entity the processes by which contesting discourses of ethnicity, communal identity and multiple explanations for communalisation of "everyday" life are (re) produced. The communalisation of space or alternatively the construction of communal identity with the aid of spatial technologies -- like 'ghetto-isation' and communal coding of built structures -- is a pan-Ahmedabad phenomenon; however, local versions of this pathology manifesting in Vatva are a subject of our study. Other questions of hegemonic discourse formation and the processes of crystallisation of religious identity form the subtext of our project. We hope also to examine both the space occupied by the Dalits as a minority in a majority-minority area (Muslims a minority in Ahmedabad, are the majority in Vatva); as also the unstable position different communities have occupied in terms of social power before, during and after the riots.

7. Children's Friendship with Place:
Investigating Environmental Child- Friendliness for Children in New Delhi

Sudeshna Chatterjee, Delhi

Despite considerable global attention on making cities child-friendly, specifically through the two prominent global efforts in contexts of low-resources and rapid urbanisation (UNESCO's Growing Up in Cities (GUIC) projects in 1970s and late 1990s, and the UN Child Friendly Cities (CFC) global initiatives in the 1990s), there does not exist any empirically grounded understanding of the construct of environmental child friendliness. An established body of theoretical literature in environmental psychology, geography, planning and design, however, has proposed that children develop feelings and emotions about their everyday environments which induce powerful, positive or negative images. This literature also emphasises the role of affect in not only explaining how children learn about places, but also, in pointing out what sorts of environments children find most satisfying. This study proposes place friendship as a valid form of affective place relationship in childhood that is different from the more widely studied construct of place attachment. Studying children's place friendship will allow us to empirically investigate the meaning of child friendly places for children in cities. Such investigations will be especially meaningful in contexts that have large youthful populations such as in Indian cities, in understanding the implications of fast urbanisation and environmental change for the lives of children.

8. Beeti Vibhavari Jaag Ri: Dilli ke City-scape mein Dik wa Kaal
(Time and Space in the Cityscape of Delhi)
Vijender Singh Chauhan, Delhi

This multimedia work will record sound and image and suppplement them with texts and personal prose. The idea is to capture different shades and textures the city inhabits in different time zones and across seasons. The cityscapes selected include Rajpath, AIIMS Crossing, Chandni Chowk, Moolchand flyover, Connaught Place and the Old Yamuna Bridge.

9. Tapping In: Urban Water Conflicts as Citizenship Claims in Chennai
Karen Coelho, Chennai

This project proposes to explore collective, contentious and transgressive practices of urban citizenship as articulated in claims to water in the city of Chennai. It uses multi-media techniques to interrogate the narratives of order purveyed by the reforming state, from the vantage point of its margins. Municipal water reforms outline a technocratic discourse in which universal service is guaranteed through rational improvement. But the underground grid, the embodiment of this sovereign order, is, as everybody knows, punctured and intersected by bypass connections and illegal taps that reveal the contentious and compromised order of a ground-level service. The project would explore these challenges to the myth of orderly service from the perspective of citizens struggling for access to water. These challenges take a range of everyday forms, from informal arrangements governing access to public fountains and