Graduate Students

  • Portrait (head shot photo)
  • Sangeeta Banerji
  • Advisor: D. Asher Ghertner
  • Degree: Ph.D.
  • Email:
  • Research Interests: urban studies, bureaucracy, state space, development, brokerage





My research investigates 'fixers' who have been for years, instrumental in 'fixing' the city of Mumbai by mobilizing varying politics at different positions with one of the largest bureaucratic state apparatuses—the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai. Rejecting normative black and white accounts of state action in India, I claim that it is the 'fixers' operating in the space of the local state who are key makers of the Indian city. My ethnographic research is motivated the by two broad questions of: How do these key fixers mold state space to settle and unsettle the city of Mumbai? How does the changing space of the state in Mumbai in which these local fixers reside influence ways in which the city of Mumbai is produced? To conduct a multiscalar and multisited ethnography of informal brokerage in Mumbai, I follow the translation of the spatial plan called the 'development plan' as it moves through the levels of bureaucracy and interacts with these key 'fixers' that I have identified during my research.

Previous Degrees:

  • M.Sc., Tata Institute of Social Sciences
  • B.Sc., St. Xavier's College


Rutgers University (New Brunswick, NJ)

  • Teaching Assistant, Department of Geography (Spring 2017), "Space, Place, Location" (Introduction to Human Geography)
  • Course Instructor, Department of Geography (Summer 2016), "Cities" (Urban Geography)
  • Teaching Assistant, Department of Geography (Fall 2016), "Cities" (Urban Geography)
  • Teaching Assistant, Department of Geography (2015–2016), "Cities" (Urban Geography)

Tata Institute of Social Sciences (Mumbai, MH)

  • Small Group Lecturer, Regulatory Governance Group, School of Habitat Studies (2017–2018), "Qualitative Research Methods"


  • Wenner-Gren Foundation Dissertation Fieldwork Grant (October 2017)
  • Excellence Fellowship, Graduate School–New Brunswick, Rutgers University (2014–2015, 2017–2018, 2018–2019)
  • Traveling Scholar of the Big Ten Alliance, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities (Fall 2018)


  • Hamara Shehar Vikas Manch – a people’s movement to solicit participation in the Development Plan revision process of the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai
  • Pani Haq Samiti – a people’s movement asserting their right to water access in Mumbai with members from 23 informal settlements