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School of Human Ecology
Shireen Mirza

Dr. Shireen Mirza

Assistant Professor


Assistant Professor , School of Human Ecology


  • Ph. D in Anthropology and Sociology, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, 2011.
  • M. Phil/ Ph. D Coursework in Cultural Studies, Centre for the Study of Culture and Society (CSCS, Bangalore), t 2004.
  • Masters in Gender, Literature and Modernity, Department of Social Sciences, University of Warwick, 2001- 2002.

Past Experience

  • Visiting Research Fellow, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, New Delhi, 1 August 2015- 31 July 2016.
  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow, 'Urban Aspirations' project, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity (MPI),Gottingen, Germany, 1 February 2015- 31 July 2015.
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Humanities & Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Madras, 15 December 2011- 31 January 2015

My Zone / Area of Expertise

I am an anthropologist interested in thinking about the intersection between society, ecology and technology. I work on the role of smell, discard and ideas of caste and contamination along a continuum that inform the design of sanitary infrastructure of Indian cities. I am interested in conceptualising alternate social relations and ideas of sanitation that can lead us to developing more equitable and ecologically responsible urban infrastructures.  

Key Words: Waste, Animal Slaughter, Sociology of Risk, Science, Technology & Society; Stigma and Contamination; Labour and Ritual Practices.



  • Urban Studies Foundation, International Fellowship, Institute for Global Studies, University of Minnesota, 1 September 2019-1 March 2020.
  • SEED faculty Development Grant, Ambedkar University, 2017-2018.
  • Indian Council for Social Science Research, Postdoctoral fellowship, 2015-2016, commenced on 1 August 2016.
  • Visiting Research Fellowship, Zentrum Moderner Orient (ZMO) and Berlin Graduate School Cultures and Societies (BGSMCS), Germany
  • The Charles Wallace India Fellow, May 2009. Grant awarded for completion of final year of the Ph. D
  • Haimendorf Scholar, 2007, Awarded by SOAS Anthropology department and Haimendorf committee, London
  • Central Research Fund Scholar, 2007, University of London
  • SOAS Postgraduate Additional Fieldwork Award, July 2007, SOAS, University of London.
  • Indian Council of Social Science Research fellowship (ICSSR) at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS), New Delhi.
  • Independent Fellowship, Sarai-CSDS. New Delhi, January2004-August 2004


  • Forthcoming (2020) ‘Landfills and the contradictions of capital: A spatial history of the landfills in Mumbai’ Economic and Political Weekly RUA special issue on 'Waste and Pollution' Ed. by Amita Baviskar and Vinay Gidwani.
  • Forthcoming (2020) ‘Politics of Waste and Caste in Indian Cities’, Oxford Bibliographies
  • (2019) ‘Politics of Butchering: Resistance and Regulation of Animal Slaughter in Bombay City’ Journal of South Asian Studies.42:5. Print ISSN: 0085-6401 Online ISSN: 1479-0270
  • (2019) ‘Smell of Sanitary and Waste Infrastructure: Caste and the making of Bombay’International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. ISBN: 1468-2427.
  • (2018) ‘Figure of the Halalkhore: Caste and StigmatisedLabour in Colonial Bombay’Economic and Political Weekly 53: 3, pp. 79-85.
  • (2017) ‘Lost worlds: Perspectives of decline among Shias of Hyderabad old city’Contributions to Indian Sociology 51: 2, pp. 1-28.
  • (2014) "Traveling saints and connecting print cultures: Two conceptions of Twelver Shi’a reformism in the Indian Ocean" Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society: Special Issue on Shi'ism in South Asia, 3: 24, pp. 455–475. ISSN: 1356-1863 EISSN: 1474-0591

Chapter in peer-reviewed edited books

  • (2015) ‘Muslims, Media and Mobility in the Indian Ocean Region’ in The Shi'a in Modern South Asia: Religion, History and Politics. Justin Jones and Ali Usman Qasmi (eds). Cambridge University Press: UK. pp. 131-159.
  • (2014) ‘Waqf and urban space: Production of a Muslim minority identity in Hyderabad's old city’ in Becoming Minority: How Discourses and Policies Produce Minorities in Europe and India. Jyothirmaya Tripathi (ed). Sage: New Delhi. pp. 293-314.

Book Reviews

  • (2014) Naveeda Khan, Muslim Becoming: Aspiration and Skepticism in Pakistan inContributions to Indian Sociology 49: 2, pp. 255–286.
  • September 2013. Book Review, Hüsken/Neubert (eds), Negotiating Rites.ANTHROPOS108:2, pp. ISSN-02579774
  • 2009. Book review, Anthony Reid & Michael Gilsenan (eds) Islamic Legitimacy in a Plural Asia. Contemporary South Asia, 17:4, pp. 460-461. ISSN-09584935