Dwelling in the Inhabited Sea

Tuesday 02.01.2022 | 6:15 pm - 7:45 pm CET | online via Zoom | Talk by Nikhil Anand, Anthropology, University of Pennsylvania as part of the series "The Sea Is Rising And So Are We"

As coastal cities face accelerating rising sea levels and an increased frequency of extreme weather events, Inhabited Sea is a transdisciplinary research collaborative of designers, planners, scientists, and artists that draws attention to the ways in which human and non-human life dwell in wet cities. Working together since 2019, the collaborative asks what kinds of urban processes are brought into view when attending to how life is made in and with water. In this lecture, Anand presents some findings of this work to show how the practices of human and non-human dwelling in the mixtures of urban wetscapes problematize flat and linear practices (of planning, design, and engineering) with which cities are made and maintained. Inhabited Sea instead calls for an attention to the cyclical temporalities, the tenuousness, and the stories with which cities are occupied in the meantime, between the catastrophic events of the past and future. For more information please take a look at the following website:

Nikhil Anand is an environmental anthropologist whose research focuses on cities, infrastructure, state power, and climate change, and associate professor at the University of Pennsylvania. His award-winning first book, Hydraulic City: Water and the Infrastructures of Politics in Mumbai (Duke University Press 2017), examines the everyday ways in which cities and citizens are made through the everyday management of water infrastructure. His new book project, Urban Seas, is supported by grants from the National Science Foundation, the Wenner-Gren Foundation, and the Penn Global Inquiries Fellowship. Based on field research with fishers, scientists, and planners as they work in the sea, the book decenters the grounds of urban planning by drawing attention to the ways in which climate-changed seas are remaking coastal cities today. Dr. Anand is also Co-PI for two collaborative research initiatives. Apart from Inhabited Sea, he is also involved in Rising Waters. Here, he is exploring how climate change and urban redevelopment are recapitulating classed and raced vulnerabilities of marginalized residents in Philadelphia and Mumbai. Nikhil Anand received his PhD in Anthropology from Stanford University in 2011, and a Masters in Environmental Science from Yale University in 2004. He has also been a Member of the School of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, a Quadrant Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study at the University of Minnesota, and a Mellon Fellow at the Stanford Humanities Center.

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Flyer "Dwelling in the Inhabited Sea"
Program "The Sea Is Rising And So Are We"

Nikhil Anand