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Nikhil Anand

Nikhil Anand became the first Associate Faculty Director of CASI on July 1, 2023. He is an environmental anthropologist whose research focuses on cities, infrastructure, state power, and climate change. He addresses these questions by studying the political ecology of cities, read through the different lives of water.

His award-winning first book, Hydraulic City: Water and the Infrastructures of Politics in Mumbai (Duke University Press 2017), examines the everyday ways in which cities and citizens are made through the everyday management of water infrastructure.

Following his interest in infrastructure studies in political anthropology, geography, and science and technology studies, Anand co-edited (with Hannah Appel and Akhil Gupta) The Promise of Infrastructure (Duke University Press 2018). The book shows how infrastructure provides a generative analytic and site to rethink questions of time, development, and politics in different parts of the world.

His new book project, Urban Seas, is supported by grants from the National Science Foundation, the Wenner-Gren Foundation, and the Penn Global Inquiries Fellowship. Based on field research with fishers, scientists and planners as they work in the sea, the book decenters the grounds of urban planning by drawing attention to the ways in which climate-changed seas are remaking coastal cities today.

At CASI, Anand will serve a range of roles that will help broaden CASI's intellectual mission and reinforce its role in the wider university. These activities include expanding CASI’s research into new areas, mentoring students participating in CASI Student Programs, hosting scholars, policymakers, and practitioners on campus, and organizing events and activities in India.

"Nikhil Anand to Become First Associate Faculty Director of CASI"

Blake Cole, Penn Arts & Sciences News, July 3, 2023