Aishwarya Mukhopadhyay

aishwarya mukhopadhyay

DPhil Student

St Antony's College

Thesis: ‘Waste Stories: Biographies of waste in a hill town in eastern India’

Research: I am a DPhil candidate in Anthropology studying waste, sustainability, and infrastructure. My research focuses on hilly regions in India, where waste management is often a problem due to the rugged terrain and lack of plain lands. I am interested in understanding perceptions towards waste in urbanising and industrialising spaces, and studying the gender, caste, and class relations in this context. My doctoral thesis thus aims to follow the journey of waste - from the time it is formed to the method of its disposal and recycling in hilly regions. This will give insight to the social dynamics around waste, how waste can be disposed sustainably, and the infrastructure related to waste disposal. I am jointly supervised by Dr Elizabeth Hallam and Professor David Gellner.

I hold an undergraduate degree in History from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi (2019) and an MPhil in Social Anthropology (2021) from the University of Oxford. My MPhil research was an ethnography on social mobility and consumption among women in eastern India. I am also a trained painter and often use visual material to convey my research. 

Research interests: waste, water, food production, infrastructure, sustainability, gender, caste, social inequality, Himalayas, visual and material culture, environmental anthropology.