Vyjayanthi V. Rao is an anthropologist and Director of Terreform Center for Advanced Urban Research, a non-profit research and publishing center based in New York City. Prior to joining Terreform, she held research and teaching positions at The New School for Social Research and at The University of Chicago where she also received her doctorate. From 2002 to 2004 she served as the Research Director of the Initiative on Cities and Globalization at Yale University and as the Co-Director of Partners for Urban Knowledge, Action and Research (PUKAR), an innovative urban laboratory in Mumbai, India.
Her current work focuses on the cultural, social and political implications of spatial transformation and architectural interventions in large cities. She specializes in research based on fieldwork in local communities to gauge the impact of spatial transformations and the ways in which communities interact with their built environments. She has worked for nearly a decade with marginalized communities in low income neighborhoods in Mumbai studying how different housing and built environments impact urban possibilities for their residents.
As a Fellow of the Center for South Asian Studies, she will continue to work on different aspects of the above research project, in particular connecting with colleagues in South Asian studies, Anthropology, Architecture and Development Studies at Oxford.