Amita Baviskar is a Professor of Environmental Studies and Sociology & Anthropology at Ashoka University and Institute of Economic Growth, Delhi. Her research addresses the cultural politics of environment and development in rural and urban India. Currently, she is working on food and changing agrarian environments in central India and studying the social experience of air pollution and heat in Delhi.
Baviskar received a PhD in Development Sociology from Cornell University. Her first book, In the Belly of the River: Tribal Conflicts over Development in the Narmada Valley, and other writings explore the themes of resource rights, popular resistance and discourses of environmentalism. Her recent publications include the edited books Elite and Everyman: The Cultural Politics of the Indian Middle Classes (with Raka Ray) and First Garden of the Republic: Nature on the President’s Estate, and the 2020 monograph Uncivil City: Ecology, Equity and the Commons in Delhi. Baviskar’s contributions to developing the field of environmental sociology in India and to the study of social movements have received peer recognition. She was awarded the 2005 Malcolm Adiseshiah Award for Distinguished Contributions to Development Studies, the 2008 VKRV Rao Prize for Social Science Research, and the 2010 Infosys Prize for Social Sciences.