Amita Baviskar is a Professor of Environmental Studies and Sociology and Anthropology. Her research and teaching address the cultural politics of environment and development in rural and urban India. She focuses on the role of social inequality and identities in natural resource conflicts. Currently, she is working on the politics of food and changing agrarian environments in Madhya Pradesh and studying the social experience of air pollution in Delhi.
After studying Economics and Sociology at the University of Delhi, she received a PhD in Development Sociology from Cornell University. Besides working at the Department of Sociology, University of Delhi, and at the Institute of Economic Growth, Delhi, she has been a visiting scholar at several universities including Stanford, Cornell, Yale, SciencesPo, University of California at Berkeley and the University of Cape Town.
Her first book In the Belly of the River: Tribal Conflicts over Development in the Narmada Valley and other writings explore the themes of resource rights, popular resistance and discourses of environmentalism. Her recent publications include the edited books Elite and Everyman: The Cultural Politics of the Indian Middle Classes (with Raka Ray) and First Garden of the Republic: Nature on the President’s Estate. In January 2020, she published Uncivil City: Ecology, Equity and the Commons in Delhi.
Her contributions to developing the field of environmental sociology in India and to the study of social movements have been recognised by her peers. She was awarded the 2005 Malcolm Adiseshiah Award for Distinguished Contributions to Development Studies, the 2008 VKRV Rao Prize for Social Science Research, and the 2010 Infosys Prize for Social Sciences.
Amita Baviskar speaks on the multiple meanings of junk food in an unequal society.
2020 Uncivil City: Ecology, Equity and the Commons in Delhi. New Delhi: Yoda Press and Sage Publications.
2016 First Garden of the Republic: Nature on the President’s Estate. New Delhi: Publications Division, Government of India. Edited.
2011 Elite and Everyman: The Cultural Politics of the Indian Middle Classes (with Raka Ray). New Delhi: Routledge. Edited.
2008 Contested Grounds: Essays on Nature, Culture and Power. New Delhi: Oxford University Press. Edited.
2007 Waterscapes: The Cultural Politics of a Natural Resource. Delhi: Permanent Black. Edited.
2006 Untouchability in Rural India (with Ghanshyam Shah, Harsh Mander, Sukhdeo Thorat, and Satish Deshpande). New Delhi: Sage Publications.
2004 In the Belly of the River: Tribal Conflicts over Development in the Narmada Valley. Delhi: Oxford University Press. (Revised edition)
2003 Waterlines: The Penguin Book of River Writings. New Delhi: Penguin Books. Edited.
1995 In the Belly of the River: Tribal Conflicts over Development in the Narmada Valley. Oxford University Press: Delhi.