[CSH-CPR Urban Workshop #169] ‘Khula’ Area: On the Urban and the Pathological (S. Rani)

[CSH-CPR Urban Workshop #169] ‘Khula’ Area: On the Urban and the Pathological (S. Rani)

Event Details

The Centre de Sciences Humaines (CSH) & Centre for Policy Research (CPR)

are pleased to invite you to an Urban Workshop (n°169)


Shweta Rani

(Visiting Faculty at the Centre for Writing and Pedagogy, Krea University)


‘Khula’ Area: On the Urban and the Pathological


Tuesday, 26 MARCH 2024, at 3:45 pm IST onwards

The session will be online over ZOOM, to register kindly fill out THIS FORM

The session will also be live-streamed on the CPR Facebook page.

In case of any issues and for queries, please email: urbanization@cprindia.org

About talk:  Pathology is one of the key factors that informs and structures urban spaces. To explore the relationship between the urban and the pathological, this talk trails the Aedes mosquito, the dengue vector, to trace the intersection of civic, social, ecological, and political in the everyday life of Delhi. Since 1996, the Indian capital city has faced almost a yearly outbreak of dengue, a mosquito-borne viral infection. To control the possibility of yet another dengue epidemic, the gaze of public health authorities primarily focuses on the areas considered inherently ‘dirty’- localities of East Delhi at the margin of the city, situated at Yamuna riverfront, populated by working-class migrants living in the unauthorized colonies. The residents of such areas have to deal with the absence of basic urban infrastructure while also being under the stringent administrative glare for pest control.

Picking up on the usage of the colloquial expression ‘khula area’ by inhabitants of these areas and their administrators to express the ungovernable stubbornness of such regions, this ethnographic shows that while the state works to localize the pathological, it remains fuzzy and deterritorialized. By analyzing narratives around the ‘Khula Area’ this work explores how a city is imagined, inhabited, and governed through the prism of the pathological and all things that fall within its shadow.


Shweta Rani is currently a visiting faculty at the Centre for Writing and Pedagogy, Krea University. She is a medical anthropologist whose research lies at the intersection of anthropology, science and technology studies, and urban studies. She has submitted her Ph.D. to the Department of Sociology, Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi. Shweta is a bilingual scholar who publishes her work in Hindi and English. Her writings have appeared in Samajiki, Economic and Political Weekly, and Contributions to Indian Sociology.

This is the hundred sixty-ninth (169) in a series of Urban Workshops planned by the Centre de Sciences Humaines (CSH), New Delhi, and Centre for Policy Research (CPR). These workshops seek to provoke public discussion on issues relating to the city’s development and try to address all its facets including its administration, culture, economy, society, and politics. For further information, please contact: Stéphanie Tawa Lama of CSH at tawalama@ehess.frMukta Naik at mukta@cprindia.org, or Marie-Hélène Zerah at marie-helene.zerah@ird.fr

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