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Ishani Saraf


  • 2012 to present: PhD program in Anthropology (Socio-cultural)
  • Advanced to Candidacy in June 2015
  • 2011: M.Phil Sociology, University of Delhi, India
  • 2009: M.A. Sociology, University of Delhi, India
  • 2007: B.A.(Hons.) Sociology, Miranda House, University of Delhi, India

Research Focus

My project examines the trade in metal scrap in the present context of urban reform in Delhi that urgently seeks to remove 'wastes' and 'pollution' from its landscape. Research conducted over 18 months includes discursive and documentary research around notions of waste management and metal scrap, fieldwork in one of India's largest metal parts and scrap market located in Delhi, and following transnational scrap trade manifested in the urban landscape as the site of the 'dry port'. I focus on what I call the 'scrap-scape' - an emergent, discontinuous urban ecology arising out of people's transactions and activities with and transformations of metal scrap materials and objects.