Nirali Joshi joined King's India Institute in 2016 as an India Scholar (2016-19) to pursue her long-standing interest in the urban geography of railways in India. She is an architect and urbanist with a MSc in Urban Policy and Governance from the Tata Institute for Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai and BArch from CEPT University, Ahmedabad.
Prior to doctoral studies at King's, Nirali practiced professionally in The Gambia and India as an architect, and subsequently as a consultant in research, studies and documentation with organisations such as the Foundation for Ecological Security (FES) and Centre for Urban Policy and Governance, TISS.
- Planning and governance
- Urban anthropology
- Urban health, practices and politics of commoning
- Spatial politics and social life of infrastructure, precarity and affective labour
Thesis title: 'Reading between the lines: Institutional and political geography of human accidents in Mumbai’s suburban railways'
Nirali's dissertation studies human accidents in Mumbai’s suburban railway system to examine the relationship between state, society, injured bodies and citizenship. Using a multi-sited, ethnographic approach, she focuses on different kinds and stages of ‘accident work’ – emergency response, medical care, investigation, closure, and adjudication on compensation – to observe how frontline workers and concerned state agencies articulate between the management of bodies and judgement of the value of life.
Within these processes, Nirali identifies the railway in Mumbai as a distinct political, sociological and topographical site that intersects accident work in specific ways to produce uneven outcomes.