College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Rashmi Sadana, PhD

Associate Professor of Anthropology, Department of Sociology and Anthropology

Faculty Directory

Research Focus

I have extensive research experience in India, its urban forms, material and social infrastructures, and inequalities based on class, caste, and gender. My contributions include work on urban development and the built environment, language politics and cultural identity, and the violence and social turmoil associated with caste. In current work supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the School for Advanced Research, I am examining the social impact of the Delhi Metro urban rail system by analyzing people’s everyday commuting lives, the work of urban planners, architects, bureaucrats, and transport officials, and the changing eco-geography of the city as numerous stations and lines transform the urban landscape and social habits. This research highlights issues of environmental sustainability, gendered citizenship, and social mobility in India’s increasingly aspirational culture.

Current Projects

■ A project to examine the social impact of a mass transit system

■ A project to compare mass transit systems in a global framework

■ A project to examine changing norms around family and marriage

■ A project to examine the new forms of English emerging in India

Select Publications

Sadana, R. (2018). “We are visioning it”: aspirational planning and the material landscapes of Delhi’s Metro. City & Society, 30(2), 186-209.

Sadana, R. (2018). At the “love commandos”: narratives of mobility among intercaste couples in a Delhi safe house. Anthropology and Humanism, 43(1), 39-57.

Sadana, R. (2010). On the Delhi metro: an ethnographic view. Economic and Political Weekly, 77-83.

Sadana, R. (2015). Found in translation: self, caste, and other in three modern texts. In U. Anjaria (Ed.), A history of the Indian novel in English (pp. 147-161). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.



Phone: 571-533-9061