Overview

Sanjoy Chakravorty is Professor of Geography and Urban Studies and Global Studies at Temple University and Visiting Fellow at the Center for the Advanced Study of India at the University of Pennsylvania.  He writes on India, inequality, cities, and theory.  Some information on his recent books is in the thumbnails below, and here. He also writes fiction.

His new book is The Truth About Us: The Politics of Information from Manu to Modi (Hachette, 2019). It shows how India’s “truths” have been made up through the control and manipulation of information–simplifications, inventions, denials, and lies–from colonization to the present moment. Another recent book is: Seeking Middle Ground: Land, Markets, and Public Policy (Oxford University Press, 2019). He is working on a co-edited collection called Colossus: The Anatomy of Delhi.

He chaired his department in 2005-10 and during that time was instrumental in creating its doctoral program and undergraduate major in Environmental Studies.  A list of his publications is here.

He can be reached at sanjoy@temple.edu

The Truth About Us: The Politics of Information from Manu to Modi. 2019. Presents a new argument on how complexity is simplified to create social “truth”. It shows how India’s major religious and caste identities–especially Hindu, ‘lower’ caste, and ‘tribal’–were made up during colonization, and the consequences of these categorizations for politics and inequality in the present moment. It also offers a new comprehensive approach to analyze the “post-truth” condition–from the age of scrolls, through printing, to smartphones–combining ideas from the social sciences and behavioral psychology with information theory. Winner of the Muzaffar Ahmad Memorial Prize.

Seeking Middle Ground: Land, Markets, and Public Policy. 2019. Co-edited with Amitendu Palit. Featuring original essays from leading analysts, this book examines the agrarian crisis and urbanization, laws and policies, displacement and compensation, factories and housing, cooperation and conflict, and other vital issues affecting land at the regional and national level. It aims to nudge the discussion towards a better understanding of the complementary strengths of state- and market-led approaches to the many policy and political challenges in India’s extraordinary land markets.

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The Other One Percent: Indians in America. 2016. With Devesh Kapur & Nirvikar Singh. A comprehensive study of Indian immigrants in America. CHOICE Outstanding Title Award.
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The Price of Land: Acquisition, Conflict, Consequence. 2013. On land acquisition and land markets in India. Short-listed for the CROSSWORD Prize.
The Promoter. 2015. A novel. Set in Kolkata’s aspirational class and housing industry.
Fragments of Inequality: Social, Spatial, and Evolutionary Analyses of Income Distribution. 2006. A new theory of income distribution based on social and spatial fragmentation.
Made in India: The Economic Geography & Political Economy of Industrialization. 2007. With Somik Lall. On the location of Indian industry and its economics and politics.

One thought on “Overview

  1. Finished reading your article on the BBC about the Indian Caste system. I found it interesting and wanted to add something to your thoughts as well. During those years under British rule there was another reason for instituting the caste system and using the religious texts for support, it was the way the British aristocracy believed as well. In Britain there was a ruling caste (royal and lordships), there was a caste of soldiers, there was a working class (later middle class) and finally there was a lower caste filled with the unruly and uneducated. This feeling of superiority was seen as something that the groups were born into and that each of these classes needed to know their place and be kept in their place. The British were simply forcing their view of divine right onto their largest and most important colony. Giving the Brahmins the ruling positions help to keep power under control. Just wanted to add my thoughts to you insightful article.

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