Sapana Doshi

About Sapana Doshi

I am an Assistant Professor at the School of Geography and Development and a Faculty Affiliate in the Department of Gender and Women's StudiesMy work on urban social movements explores the nexus of cultural politics and political economy in cities of the Global South and traverses the fields of critical development studies, feminist political geography and urban geography. I teach undergraduate courses and graduate seminars in the School of Geography and Development as well as courses for UA's new Masters in Development Practice.

Personal website


Areas of Study

Critical Development Studies, Urban Geography, Feminist Geography, Cities of the Global South, Social Movements, State Theory, Ethnography

Research Interests

My current research is on the politics of global city redevelopment, eviction and resettlement in Mumbai, India with a focus on social mobilization among displaced residents of informal slum settlements. Using ethnographic and other qualitative methods, my work examines the political economic and cultural processes through which urban transformation is both enabled and contested. I investigate how class, gender and ethnic differences shape experiences of dispossession in the changing city and yield distinct spatio-political subjectivities. 

I have also researched and written on the history of urban water infrastructure development, imperial racial politics and colonial state formation in 19th century Mumbai.

Prior to entering academia, I spent six years working as a development practitioner in non-governmental organizations in Brazil, Nepal and the U.S. My areas of work included micro-finance, gender-based empowerment, rural drought relief, urban housing and sustainability. I have also been involved in performance, awareness-raising and rights campaigns with feminist and LGBT groups in South Asian-American communities. These experiences both within and outside of academia have deeply influenced my scholarship, teaching and worldview.

See my personal website for more details on my research and teaching.

Selected Publications

"The Politics of the Evicted: Redevelopment, Subjectivity and Difference in Mumbai's Slum Frontier" Antipode 45:3 2013 (DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-8330.2012.01023.x) available here. A video abstract of this article is also featured on the Antipode Foundation website.

"Domesticated Dispossessions: Towards a Transnational Feminist Geopolitics of Development" (co-authored with Jennifer Casolo) 2013 in Geopolitics [PDF]

"Resettlement Ecologies: Environmental Subjectivity and Graduated Citizenship in Mumbai" forthcoming in edited volume titled: Ecologies of Urbanism in India: Metropolitan Civility and Sustainability, eds A. Rademacher and K. Sivaramakrishnan. Hong Kong University Press, 2013. [PDF]

"The Politics of Persuasion: Gendered Slum Citizenship in Neoliberal Mumbai" in edited volume titled: Urban India: Emerging Citizenships and Contested Spaces, eds. R. Desai and R. Sanyal Sage, 2012 [PDF]

"Imperial Water, Urban Crisis: A Political Ecology of Colonial State Formation in Bombay, 1850-1890" accepted and forthcoming in Review: Journal of the Fernand Braudel Center

An introduction and review of Akhil Gupta's Red Tape: Structural Violence, Bureacracy and Poverty in India - These two pieces were part of a book review forum published in the open website of Environment and Planning D: Society and Space

Other articles are currently in preparation for submission to International Journal of Urban and Regional Research and Gender, Place and Culture

Sapana Doshi's picture

Contact Information

Sapana Doshi
Assistant Professor
Telephone: 520-626-8107
Office: ENR2 S422


PhD (2011) Department of Geography, University of California, Berkeley

B.A. (1997) Department of Economics, Barnard College, Columbia University

Courses Taught

DVP 601 Social Science Perspectives on Development Practice: Themes, Theories and Strategies

DVP 602 The Role of Culture in Sustainable Development

Geog 370 Geographies of International Development: Poverty, Development and Social Change in a Globalizing World

Geog 372 Gender and Geography: Space, Power and Difference in Transnational Perspective

Geog 696 Political Geography (Political Geographies of Development)