Current Projects

Urbanization and Globalization in Contemporary India

My most recent research has included a study of luxury condominium development on the fringes of the metropolis of Kolkata and the environmental degradation and socio-economic displacements caused by this new housing construction. I argue that the idea of diasporic Indians and transnational lifestyles is an important influence on local civic leaders, city planners, private capital, and social movements alike, and a crucial catalyst for transforming both the political and physical landscape of the region.  The PhD thesis that I wrote on the basis of this research won the 2006 Dissertation Award from the Urban Geography Specialty Group of the American Association of Geographers.  I am currently revising this work in the form of a book manuscript.

Transportation, Equity and Communities at Risk: Refugee Populations and Transportation Accessibility in Vermont

This research is being undertaken in conjunction with the Transportation Research Center at UVM and examines the challenges facing newly-resettled refugees in Vermont with regard to issues of mobility and access.  The project is based on a community survey and needs assessment conducted with the assistance of service provider organizations and networks including the Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program, the Association of Africans Living in Vermont, and the Office of the Vermont State Refugee Resettlement Coordinator.  A final report will be made available in December 2009.

The Ethics of Development-Induced Displacement (EDID)

The EDID Project is a multi-year, multi-country study of various forms of development and population displacement, funded jointly by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute.  The project has examined development and displacement through both theoretical inquiry and on the basis of empirical research.  Case studies include mining in Ghana, Bolivia and Peru, parks creation and conservation in Costa Rica, land reform in Thailand, Laos and Honduras, urban renewal and infrastructure development in India, privatization and neoliberal reforms in Colombia and Thailand, and oil development in Sudan.  Several publications have come out this project including Development's Displacements: Ecologies, Economies and Cultures at Risk, co-edited by myself along with Peter Vandergeest and Pablo Idahosa.  A second volume, co-authored by myself along with Peter Penz and Jay Drydyk, will be published in Spring 2010 by Cambridge University Press.

Conferences and Events

I have helped to organize several conferences and brought various guest speakers to UVM including Dr. Ananya Roy, Associate Dean of International and Area Studies at the University of California-Berkeley as one of our Burack Presidential Lecturers in 2008 to give a fascinating lecture entitled "Poverty Capital: Microfinance and the Frontiers of Millenial Development."  In Fall 2009 I will be organizing a conference with support from the Government of Canada on "Settlement, Security and Social Justice: Immigrants and Refugees in US-Canada Border Regions."  As well, I will be bringing Canadian film-maker Yung Chan to campus to discuss his award-winning documentary "Up the Yangtze" at a screening and lecture on this compelling examination of the effects of the Three Gorges Dam in China.