Urban spaces



1461342403Chennaifloods2015dec7666Unnatural Disaster: After the Chennai Floods.” Dissent Magazine, non-fiction article. Last December’s floods in Chennai illustrated the devastating consequences of a development model that puts profits before people. But they also hinted at what a democratic response to climate disaster might look like. April 2016.

ulsoorBangalore’s Dead Fish Are Just a Symptom of the Time Bomb that Lies Ahead.” The Wire, 21 Mar 2016. Ulsoor Lake is one of the last strongholds in a water-starved city whose hundreds of old reservoirs have largely been drained to be built upon or reduced to dumping grounds in the last 40 years.

frothcanalBeneath the Foam and Fire.” The Wire, 17 Feb 2017 (Originally published in May 2015). Bangalore’s system of lakes and canals took centuries to build, but their downfall was only a few decades in the making.

art_ES_aug2015_Otto-at-desk.jpgGhosts of architects past on the Indian Institute of Science campus.” IndiaBioScience, Aug 28 2015. Repurposed World War II-era buildings give a glimpse into India’s scientific history.


SwensensPeering through the cracks in the California dream: Bangalore’s nostalgia for our manufactured past.Boom: A Journal of California, Winter 2014. Article on the strange juxtaposition of American nostalgia marketing with the ever-changing face of Bangalore.

selectShelved Away.” The Caravan, 1 Sep 2012. Co-written with Croor Singh. Article on the seventy-year history of Select Bookstore in Bangalore, India.

muralThe Writing on the Wall.” The Caravan, 1 Sep 2011. Article on the city government-sponsored murals that have emerged on public walls in Bangalore.

Book Reviews

Nature in the City.pngReview of Harini Nagendra’s Nature in the City for H-Net. How can we foster an urban community that has a sense of agency over its surrounding environment, and that works together across differences of language, religion, class, and caste to rejuvenate and protect that environment? January 2018.


Multilayered Maps of Modern India: Anjum Hasan’s Fiction.” The Los Angeles Review of Books, Aug 8 2017. Overview of the novels and short stories of Anjum Hasan.


IMG_20171107_North Park signStories in 100 words. This is a writing exercise I’ve been trying on occasion since November 2017, inspired in part by long walks to explore San Diego and help my daughter nap.

Wall painting in Bangalore

My City is Not My City.” A short story about the construction along the road to Bangalore’s airport, originally written in 2014 for a class on partitioned nations and divided cities at UC Irvine.