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Prof. Sarover Zaidi
Assistant Professor

Sarover “bombaywalee' Zaidi Studied philosophy at St. Stephen's College and Sociology and Social Anthropology at the Delhi School of Economics, Delhi and at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, Germany. Besides this, she has lived in a Buddhist nunnery, worked on poverty, health and hunger death issues across Bihar, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh, learnt how to center a clay pot, obsessively collected iconography and images in Islam and Hinduism, taught medical doctors the poetics and politics of life, and ran courses of social anthropology for artists, photographers architects, and monks. She runs an interdisciplinary forum 'Elementary forms and the city', which attempts to mess disciplines up from the inside. She is working on her book on religion and architecture, and in her other time she is painting, reading Freemason manuals, trying to be a yoga teacher, or doing vicarious people watching in public parks of Delhi. For her the search and wearing of red jackets is critically important.

B.A. (University of Delhi)
M.A.; M.Phil. (University of Delhi)
Ph.D. candidate (Utrecht University)

Teaching and Research Interests

Material culture studies, Design theory, Anthropology of architecture, Anthropology of religion, Science and technology studies, Philosophy, Semiotics, Urban studies, continental philosophy, Art and Aesthetics, Public health, Indian Philosophy, Post Structuralism.


Publications (selected)

2017 - ‘Topography of Survival: The memory of a street in Delhi' as part of Political Walks,Racialised Incarceration issue of The Funambulist, No. XII, July- August
2017 - 'Concrete (In three parts)' based on RamkinkerBaij's, 'Mill Call', in TAKE Fiction (Vol. 3, Issue 2) TAKE ON Art magazine
2017 - 'On two modes of witnessing: AzadehAkhlagi andGauri Gill' Critical Collective,Delhi.
2016 - Religious Iconography in Islam: some motifs from Shia contexts, Autumn Volume 43,Number 2 , India International Centre Quarterly, Delhi
2016 - 'Where there is no architect; histories from the native town of Bombay', published in the online journal of Ajam Media Collective, July there-is-no-architect-bombay/.
2016 - ‘The City and the city: space and semiotics of Muslim Bombay’; The Funambulist Magazine 4 (March-April 2016): Carceral Environments.


Conferences/Invited Talks (selected)

2018 - On the anthropology of horizons, Ted Talks India. Link :
2018 - “Of Indian Ocean milieus: architecture, identity, and ritual of Shia Bombay", Department of history, February Columbia University, February 2018
2018 - The Architecture of Horizons, 'When is Space?' conference, Jwahar Kala Kendra, Jaipur, India
2017 - Visiting faculty, School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi, India
2017 - Block teaching,December, Department of Social Design, Ambedkar University, Delhi, India
2016 - Invited speaker, Indian Oceanic Topographies, UC Davis conference, California, USA.
2015 - Princeton South Asia Conference, Princeton, USA
2011 - Selected for mapping controversies workshop undertaken by Prof. Bruno Latour, Sciences Po, at the Department of Sociology, Delhi School of Economics. Also invited to interview Prof. Bruno Latour


Research Projects / Curations / Exhibitions (selected)

2016 – onwards - Conceptualizer, and curator of Elementary Forms, an interdisciplinary forum on art, architecture and anthropology
2017 - Contributor and core member of, a blog exploring ways of writing the city
2017 - Writer, critic and curator in residence, Khoj International Artists Association, Coriolis Effect Ed III residency
2016 – onwards - India Foundation for the Arts fellowship to research ‘iconography in Islam inthe contexts of India’ – November 2016-17
2015-2016 - INTACH fellow Research Fellow – INTACH Fellowship for ‘Documentation of Islamic Iconography in India, with a focus on metalwork in Shi’a Iconography