"Stories from Mumbai

"Stories from Mumbai's Archive of Loss"

CISA Speaker Series

Monday, February 8, 2021

10:00 AM - 11:00 AM (Pacific Time)

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Based on fieldwork conducted in the transforming textile mill lands of Mumbai, India, this talk investigates contemporary mill workers’ relationship to employment, embodiment, and spatial habitation. The centrality of textile manufacturing in Mumbai once made employment in the mills meaningful and plentiful work. As mills closed and workers began to lose their jobs, the narrative of deindustrialization emphasized the needs of the unemployed and eclipsed the reality that some individuals continue to work in the mills and emplace themselves in the city through work in the industrial sector. Through the optic of "lively ruination," the mill land neighborhoods of Central Mumbai become an ethnographic archive of the city: a semi-public space of documents, artifacts, and stories, held by the workers inhabiting these still-breathing but slowly-decaying spaces. In archiving loss, this talk details histories of loss and histories that are lost. 



Maura Finkelstein is an assistant professor of anthropology at Muhlenberg College. Her first book, The Archive of Loss: Lively Ruination in Mill Land Mumbai was published by Duke University Press in April 2019. Her work has also been published in City and Society, Anthropological Quarterly and Cultural Anthropology, as well as two edited volumes, Galleries of Life: The Chawls of Mumbai (Imprint One, 2011) and the forthcoming Bombay Brokers (Duke University Press). Her India-based research has been supported by fellowships from the American Institute for Indian Studies. She holds a MA in anthropology from Columbia University and a PhD in Anthropology from Stanford University. She is currently working on an ethnography about therapeutic horseback riding, disability, and interspecies communication.







In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, UCLA will honor requests for reasonable accommodations made by individuals with disabilities.
Requests can be fulfilled more effectively if notice is provided at least 10 days before the event.
Direct accommodation requests to jvillegas@international.ucla.edu.




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Download file: Maura-Finkelstein-(1)-gb-wns.pdf

Sponsor(s): Center for India and South Asia

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