Healthy Cities 2019: Urbanisation, infrastructures and everyday life in East Asia

Sponsored keynote by Dr Manisha Anantharaman at the 2019 Hallsworth Conference.

Between 22 April – 4 May 2019 Dr Manisha Anantharaman will be delivering a Sustainable Consumption Institute sponsored keynote at the Healthy Cities 2019 Hallsworth Conference in Manchester, hosted by Alison Browne (Geography/SCI) and Deljana Iossifova (Architecture/Confucius Institute). Manisha will also be a visiting Professorial Fellow into the SCI and Geography where we will run workshops and events with SCI and UoM staff in order to develop further collaboration and funding between the team.  

Dr Manisha Anantharaman

Manisha Anantharaman is an Assistant Professor of Justice, Community and Leadership at Saint Mary’s College of California, USA, where is also affiliated with the Global and Regional Studies and Earth and Environmental Science programs. She is currently serving as the Alba Viotto Invited Professor in Sociology at the University of Geneva. A multidisciplinary problem-driven social scientist, she studies the potential for, pathways to, and politics of socially-just urban sustainability transitions, applying participatory and ethnographic methodologies. Her commitment to critical sustainability research emerges from and informs her community-engaged research praxis, enacted primarily through her work with Hasirudala, a waste-picker cooperative in Bangalore, India.

Manisha’s research contributes to scholarship in sustainability studies by examining the ways in which sustainability initiatives and environmental movements reinforce or dismantle interlocking systems of oppression. Drawing on her research in India, her recent publications have argued that sustainability researchers should explicitly examine questions of identity, recognition, inclusion and representation, a gap in this literature that frequently frames sustainability as purely a technical, managerial and behavioural challenge. This intervention was recognised with an Early Career Scholar Award from the Sustainable Consumption Research and Action Initiative in 2016, a worldwide network of over 1000 researchers studying sustainability transitions.

Her overarching goal is to expand the perspectives represented in sustainable consumption scholarship by including an examination of so-called “vernacular” sustainability practices prevalent in Asian cities. Her publications include an upcoming edited volume on The Circular Economy and the Global South (Routledge, UK), that broadens the conversation on the circular economy by examining the diversity of “circular” practices carried out by the urban and rural poor and indigenous peoples, and through this, extends and contests dominant definitions of this increasingly popular concept. Her current research project, funded by the Swiss Network of International Studies, examines the role of green public spaces in supporting sustainable and inclusive well-being in Asian cities.

She received her PhD from the Department of Environmental Science Policy and Management at the University of California Berkeley (2015), before which she worked as a program officer at the Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment, India. Manisha also has a Masters’ in Biology from the University of Oxford, UK, where she was an Inlaks scholar. She is a founding member of the Global Research Forum for Sustainable Consumption and Production.

Project leaders