Talk • Caste and Waste Technology

November 8, 2023 @ 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
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Abstract: This talk explores the effects of waste technology on the nature of waste work that is manual, repetitive, labour-intensive, as well as locked in caste identities. It looks at interconnections between caste and technology to understand the construction of dirt, risk, insanitary, polluted, as ideas that inform trajectories of waste technologies. Using archival material, I look at debates within the Bombay colonial municipality in developing and adopting waste technology in the city. Does the use of better technology alleviate the stigma of caste and the nature of waste work?  Are ideas of pollution ruptured or enhanced when archives (past) and the ethnographic (present) are read together in thinking about the intervention of waste technology in waste work?

Speaker: Dr Shireen Mirza is an Associate Professor of Sociology at BITS-Law School. Her areas of interest are urban anthropology, ecology, religion, waste, Anthropocene, Science, Technology & Society (STS). She has taught courses on Development, Urban Studies, STS, and Urban Ecology at Azim Premji University, Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology-Delhi, Ambedkar University (Delhi), as well as at the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at Indian Institute of Technology Madras. Her PhD in Anthropology and Sociology was from the School of Oriental and African Studies in 2011. Her most recent publications include ‘Stigma and Caste Labour: Understanding Contemporary Practices of Discrimination and ‘Othering” in Global Dialogues; ‘Politics of Waste and Social Inequalities in Indian Cities’ in Oxford Bibliographies as well as ‘Becoming Waste: Three Moments in the Life of Landfills in Mumbai City’ in Economic and Political Weekly RUA special issue on Waste and Pollution. She has also published in Contributions to Indian Sociology, Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society and several other peer-reviewed journals. Her book, nearing completion, is titled Stigma and the City: Dalit Muslim Theologies and Placemaking at the Margins of Mumbai.


November 8, 2023
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
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ADCPS Conference Room
Old CSE Building, IIT Bombay
Mumbai, Maharashtra 400076 India
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