Malini Ranganathan

Malini Ranganathan

Associate Professor, Department of Environment, Development, and Health

Malini Ranganathan is an associate professor in the School of International Service at American University and a political ecologist and geographer by training. She is also a faculty affiliate of the Department of Critical Race, Gender, and Culture Studies; the Antiracist Research and Policy Center; and the Metropolitan Policy Center at American University. Most broadly, she is a scholar of environmental justice interested in the political economy of land, labor, and ecology in the context of capitalist urbanization.

Specifically, she studies how caste and racial histories give rise to segregated housing and land relations, water and sanitation access, and flood and climate vulnerability. She works on both India (primarily Bangalore) and the U.S. (primarily Washington, DC).

Professor Ranganathan has published over 20 peer-reviewed journal articles and two books: “Corruption Plots: Stories, Ethics, and Publics of the Late Capitalist City” (Cornell University Press, 2023) and Rethinking Difference in India Through Racialization: Caste, Tribe, and Hindu Nationalism in Transnational Perspective.” She is the recipient of the 2023 Harold M. Rose Award for Antiracism Research and Practice from the American Association of Geographers and an 2017-19 American Council of Learned Societies Collaborative Grant. She is currently senior personnel on a National Science Foundation grant project that promotes equitable and sustainable urban and regional food systems.

Current Projects

Externally Funded:

• National Science Foundation RECIPES grant for Sustainable Food Systems, II.

Books in progress:

• “The Urbanization of Caste Power: Land, Labor, and Environmental Politics in Bengaluru”

• “The Environment as Freedom: Confronting Global Political Ecologies of Caste and Racial Capitalism”


American Association of Geographers