Project title: The Challenge of Urbanisation: Health and the Global City (2011-2016)
PI: Prof Mark Harrison
Postdoctoral researchers: Dr Amelia Bonea, Dr Cressida Jervis Read
Funding body: Wellcome Trust [grant no. 113/560] and the John Fell Oxford University Press Research Fund [grant no. 113/268]
Host Institution: University of Oxford
This project was based at the Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine at the University of Oxford and my association with it lasted from 2012 until 2014. Building on my previous work on the social impact of technologies of communication in colonial India, I turned to the contemporary scenario to examine how mobile phones and telecom towers have been associated with disease and ill health in South Asia. Another important aspect of this project was to understand how the media disseminates relevant medical knowledge and how anti-tower activists use various media platforms to further their respective agendas. As part of this project, I conducted research in New Delhi and at Guru Nanak Dev University in Amritsar, where I interacted with Dr Gursatej Gandhi and her group of researchers. The project resulted in the publication of a paper in Contemporary South Asia, on the topic of telecom towers and public health controversies.
*Photo: Rooftop telecom tower in New Delhi (2013), author’s archive