Join us for a lecture by Priti Ramamurthy at the RC21 annual conference – “‘Delhi’ of Dostis (Friends): What Kind of Brotherhood?”

We’d be delighted if you could join us at the 2019 International Sociological Association Research Committee on Urban and Regional Development annual conference, which will take place in Delhi Wednesday 18th-Saturday 21st September.

Priti Ramamurthy, Professor of Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies at the University of Washington, will be presenting “‘Delhi’ of Dostis (Friends): What Kind of Brotherhood?” on Friday 20th September from 16:30 to 18:00 (“Sub-Plenary 3” in the conference programme).

Male migrants’ caring friendships (dostis) make cities, Delhi, run. One of capitalism’s “hidden abodes”, these friendships cradle the urban poor through its insecurities and violences. Friendships create wiggle room: the space-times for making meaningful lives. The fluidity of friendships, the multiple forms of relatedness and betrayal they encompass, are particularly well suited to subtending informal economy work. Based on interviews with working class men, I argue: friendships are ontologies through which male migrants experience a city as a particular city. The city figures in the imaginations of men as a space of possibility for friendships not defined by caste, kinship, and gender relations. Translated into everyday practices of “caring karna”, the city is where the “doing of caring” across difference materializes. But friendship is agonistic, fraught and fragile; always vulnerable to unfriending, based on those very plays of difference, which may re-orient people away from it. In ephemeral and infinite friendships, men care by standing witness to violence, to fight against indifference, to stake citizens’ claims to a just city. Friendship offers social scientists and working-class migrants wiggle room, a space of hopeful, dynamic, and relational sociality, integral to a vision of the city as a space of possibility.

Priti Ramamurthy is a Professor in the Department of Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies at the University of Washington. An ethnographer, she has returned to the same villages in the Telangana region of southern India for three decades, to understand the relationship between the social reproduction of families, lives and livelihoods and processes of agrarian transformation. Prof. Ramamurthy’s articulation of feminist commodity chain analysis, as a way to track the creation of value and gendered identities, is a methodological contribution to studies of gender and globalization.

Her interdisciplinary publications have appeared in the journal including World Development, Feminist Theory, Cultural Anthropology, Feminist Studies, Gender and History, Women’s Studies Quarterly, Signs, and Environment and Planning A and in edited volumes including the Routledge Handbook of Gender in South Asia (Routledge, 2014), Gendered Commodity Chains: Seeing Women’s Work and Households in Global Production (Stanford UP, 2014) and Marrying in South Asia: Shifting Concepts, Changing Practices in a Globalising World (Orient Blackswan, 2014). She is a co-editor of The Modern Girl Around the World: Consumption, Modernity, and Globalization (Duke UP, 2008).

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Until 2018, the Antipode Lecture Series comprised sponsored sessions at the annual meetings of the American Association of Geographers and Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers). We invite presenters who represent both the political commitment and intellectual integrity that characterise the sort of work that appears in the journal. Their lectures are filmed by our publisher, Wiley, and made freely available online. Speakers often submit essays to be peer-reviewed and, if successful, published in Antipode. Our archive of inspiring and provocative presentations can be viewed online.

The AAG’s and RGS-IBG’s annual international conferences are widely seen as vital venues for the exchange of cutting-edge ideas–but they’re not, of course, the only ones. Since 2018, the Lecture Series has been going on the road, reaching out beyond the US and UK to maximise the diversity of those contributing to our community, and facilitating engagement with scholarship from hitherto under-represented groups, regions, countries and institutions to enrich conversations and debates in Antipode.

The first stop was the 2018 conference of the New Zealand Geographical Society and Institute of Australian Geographers, where Glen Coulthard (First Nations and Indigenous Studies, University of British Columbia) presented “Global Red Power: Fourth World Resurgent”.