Priti Narayan uses ethnographic and archival methods to investigate how residents of Chennai, India make claims to city land in a landscape marked by violent, large-scale slum evictions. Her research project, Terrains of Negotiation: Strategic Residents and the State in a Developing City, explores how the urban poor navigate ‘terrains of negotiation’ among politicians, local bureaucrats, and activists to preserve their citizenship in the city. Her work highlights how historical structures of patronage-based state-society relations interact with neoliberal urbanism.
Narayan has worked as a housing rights activist in Chennai for over seven years. Currently completing her Narayan earned a PhD in Geography from Rutgers; an M.A. in Sociology from Columbia University; a PG Dip. in Television Journalism from the Asian College of Journalism; and a B.Sc. in Electronic Media from the University of Madras.
Narayan’s fellowship is made possible by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the M.S. Chadha Center for Global India under the Princeton Institute for International & Regional Studies.