ECSAS 2023 – Turin 26-29 July

27 – Muslim agency within and against India’s regimes of urban segregation

This panel invites contributions from colleagues across disciplines, regions, and career stages to explore the complex roles Muslims assume in variously subverting and advancing processes of spatial segregation in Indian cities.

Convenors

Shrey Kapoor - PhD Candidate, Cornell University, Department of Global Development Research Fellow, University of Basel, Institute for European Global Studies
Raphael Susewind - Lecturer in Social Anthropology and Development King’s College London

Long Abstract

This panel invites contributions from colleagues across disciplines, regions, and career stages to explore the complex roles Muslims assume in variously subverting and advancing processes of spatial segregation in Indian cities. In the wake of Jaffrelot and Gayer’s (2012) seminal “Muslims in Indian Cities”, typologies of “ghettos, slums, enclaves and citadels” have proliferated; our key question is to probe, adapt and update this terminology to reflect the contemporary urban politics of Modi’s India. Specifically, we aim to problematize the tendency in the recent literature to analyze the use of physical violence (e.g. riots, lynchings) and economico-juridical forms of marginalization (e.g. laws, land markets, development-induced dispossession, resettlement) as separate and autonomous processes that result in economically, socially, and politically divergent spatial formations. Highlighting the ‘bulldozer politics’ where both these drivers of segregation intersect on the ground in the making of different “regimes of segregation” in turn opens up pathways to investigate articulations of Muslim agency that go beyond aspirations for ‘socioeconomic uplift’ and ‘formal political representation’. Ultimately, this panel thus endeavors to further complicate the idea of Muslims in India as passive and monolithic bystanders in the face of segregation.