Mayanka Mukherji is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Informal Cities Programme.
She completed her PhD in Anthropology at the University of Oxford in 2020, funded by the Rhodes Scholarship and the Alain Locke Scholarship. Her research explored empty homes in Central London, comparing empty second homes in a luxury square to “decanted” council flats in the same neighbourhood. Her key interests include housing, habitability, emptiness, seasonal mobilities and urban regeneration. She also explored creative methodologies of ethnographic storytelling and collaborative sketching with her interlocutors to develop a better understanding of how people occupy and relate to cities.
For her MPhil, she looked at the everyday practices of waste workers in New Delhi, exploring the complex landscape through which waste moves within a city, and the frameworks within which waste workers engage and negotiate with regimes of value. She documented her ethnographic engagements through multi-lingual storytelling, including bits of Hindi, Bengali and Gujarati.
Outside of academic work, Mayanka also provides mentoring to low-income tenants in Brent who deal with complex housing challenges, conducts storytelling workshops for various housing groups like Advice4Renters and Z2K in London, and writes fiction and poetry in her spare time.