She has over seven years of experience in interdisciplinary research on social dimensions of environmental and climatic changes across ecologically stressed regions of South Asia. Prior to joining the coveted PhD program at the Department of Geography in Durham, she has worked with leading research and policy think tanks in India. These include professional and academic positions around research, policy advocacy and research managerial in leading South Asian organizations such as the Indian Institute of Human Settlements (Bangalore), the UN Habitat (Asia Pacific office) and the Public Affairs Centre (Bangalore).
Alongside her PhD, she was intimately involved in the production of the recently concluded Sixth Assessment Report of the IPCC (2018 – 2022). She worked as a Chapter Scientist and a Contributing Author in Chapter 18 of Working Group II report, titled Climate Resilient Development Pathways. Ritwika brings with her years of experience of undertaking nuanced cutting-edge intersectional, policy and practice-oriented research on evolving complexities of climate and environmental changes processes in transitioning geographies of the global South.
About Doctoral Research
Ritwika’s doctoral research focuses on the discursive and material politics of global normative resilience practice in global south cities. She uses urban resilience as a lens to critically examine relational dimensions of climate praxis in urban geographies of ethnonationalism. Specifically, the project inquires how urban resilience intersects with urban politics of labor spatiality, mobility and migrant naturalization. It further underscores how depoliticised resilience practice reconfigures everyday labor spatiality, politics and aspiration in the city. The research investigates this in key domains of urban land and real-estate, infrastructure and informal labor in the city of Surat in Northwest India.
This research would make substantive contributions to the nascent but urgent field of southern climate urbanism among others. Additionally, perspectives from this research would inform theoretical subfields such as critical infrastructure studies, critical migration and mobility studies as well as southern urban studies on generative ways to engage with growing complexities around climate urbanism in the global South.