Nikhil Anand’s contribution to the “Just Environments” series examines the making of urban inequality, focusing on water infrastructure as a key site for banal yet fundamentally political decision-making that neglects or harms poor citizens. In both Flint and Mumbai, environmental injustice is generated through bureaucratic routines that rarely take into account the humans they affect. Challenging these injustices, Anand argues, requires engaging in the "boring" technopolitics of infrastructure.
Nikhil Anand is assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania. His research focuses on the political ecology of cities, read through the different lives of water. He is also a former International Dissertation Research Fellowship (IDRF) fellow as part of the 2007 cohort. His first book, Hydraulic City (Duke University Press, 2017), focuses on the everyday ways in which cities and citizens are made through the everyday management of water infrastructure in Mumbai. Articles based on this research have also been published in Antipode, Cultural Anthropology, Ethnography, and Public Culture. With Hannah Appel and Akhil Gupta, Anand is coeditor of a forthcoming volume, The Promise of Infrastructure (Duke University Press), that focuses on the ways in which infrastructure provides a generative ground to theorize time and politics. His new work attends to the ways in which urban rivers and seas are key sites for the making and management of difference in India and the United States. Anand has a master’s in environmental science from Yale University and a PhD in anthropology from Stanford University.