Aparna Parikh


My dissertation research analyzes how processes of global urbanization are intertwined with social divisions and political contestations in Mumbai, India. I examine urban transformations accompanying night-time work in outsourced call centers in Mumbai, India. Based on findings from ethnographic field-based research, I analyze how marginalized actors navigate and shape spaces around outsourced call centers. This research reveals how neoliberal policies are implemented, and the role of social hierarchies in the production of urbanism.

Research Interests

  • feminist geography
  • transnational feminism
  • Asian urbanism
  • outsourced gendered labor

Research Focus

feminist urban geography


  • M. Arch. 2012 Penn State
  • B. Arch. 2010 Mumbai University

Courses Taught

  • GEOG 20: Introduction to Human Geography
  • WMNST 100 web: Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies (ongoing)
  • ARCH 100 web: Architecture and Ideas
  • GEOG 122: American Scene (TA)
  • GEOG 124: Cultural Geography (TA)
  • GEOG 430 web: Human Use of Environment (TA)
  • GEOG 438W web: Human Dimensions of Global Warming (TA)
  • ARCH 312: Critical Postcolonial and Contemporary Perspectives in South Asian Architecture (TA)
  • ARCH 311W: Architecture and Planning Theories (TA)


Parikh, Aparna. "Jane in the Call Center." Critical Planning Journal, 2013.

Conference Proceedings

Parikh, Aparna, Henrique, Karen & Aslankan, Ali. Conference Proceedings: Nature of Spatial Practices, 2013.

Book Review

Parikh, Aparna. "Jason Pine: The art of making do in Naples". Space & Polity 20.3 (2016)


Conference Presentations

2017: Appearance of authority: role of attire in accessing public space in Mumbai, India, AAG, Boston, April

Panelist, Quiet Social Movements, AAG, Boston, April

Panelist, Modernity, Space & Gender, AAG, Boston, April

Panelist, SWG Fellows, AAG, Boston, April

2016: Panelist, Scholar-Activism or Scholar/Activism? Critical Geography Conference, Lexington, October 15

Graveyard shifts in outsourced call centers: navigating and shaping of night landscapes by female call center workers in Mumbai, India. AAG, San Francisco, March 29

Panelist, The politics and ethics of vulnerability: exploring methodologies for rights and justice-based research and praxis. AAG, San Francisco, March 30

Panelist, Saffronizing Fascism? Economy, Culture and Environment in India. AAG, San Francisco, March 31

Ignoring perceptions, heightening risk: examining paradoxes of urban safety policies for women working the night shift in Mumbai, India. Suffragette City Conference, Charleston, February 26

Insider-Outsider as Process. Women’s Studies Graduate Organization Conference, Penn State, February 20

2014: Neoliberal Islands: Gated spaces, permeable boundaries and urban hygiene in Mumbai, 1990-2013. AAG, Tampa, April 10

Panelist, Understanding neighborhood change: ‘neighborhood’ as a unit of analysis, AAG, Tampa, April 10

Panelist, Transnational Feminist Research Introspections, Women’s Studies Graduate Organization Conference, Penn State, April 5

Feminist geopolitical readings of coffee table books, Critical Geography Conference, Boulder, February 22

2013: Jane in the Call Center at Women in Labor: Gendering (Re)Production, the 20th Annual Susan B. Anthony Institute for Gender and Women’s Studies, University of Rochester, March 2

At Home in the Gated Community? Women’s Studies Graduate Organization Conference, Penn State, February 15

Housing responses to neoliberal change: uneven development in Mumbai, Nature of Spatial Practices, Penn State, February 1

Conference Organization

2014: “Transnational feminism”, Women’s Studies Graduate Organization Conference

2013: “Nature of Spatial Practices”, with 50 participants from 5 countries at the Department of Architecture, Penn State, with funding from the Stuckeman School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, and College of Arts and Architecture

Technical Workshops

2017: Basics of Adobe InDesign and Adobe Illustrator, GEOG 301: Thinking Geographically, Penn State

2016: Basics of Adobe InDesign and Adobe Illustrator, GEOG 301: Thinking Geographically, Penn State

Invited Talks (external)

2017: “Of Crocodiles & Garbage Dumps: Greenwashing and Erasures in ‘Sustainable’ Development” College of Fine Arts, Carnegie Mellon University

2014: “Disparate Trajectories: Comparing Urban River Projects in Lahore and Ahmedabad” Centre for Policy Research and Centre de Sciences Humaines, Delhi: 52nd Urban Workshop

2011: City in Literature: Mumbai, Kamla Raheja Vidyanidhi Institute for Architecture, Mumbai

Poster Presentations

2012: Neoliberal Islands: Gated Spaces, Permeable Boundaries & Urban Hygiene in Mumbai, 1990-2013, Graduate Exhibition, Penn State


Fellowships and Grants

2016-17: Erickson Fund in Geography, Department of Geography, Penn State

2016: Ruby S. Miller Endowment for Geographic Excellence Erickson Fund in Geography

Asian Geography Specialty Group, AAGs Student Travel Award

Urban Geography Specialty Group, AAGs Student Travel Award

2015: National Fellowship, Society of Women Geographers

2014: Dissertation Proposal Development Fellowship, Social Science Research Council

Ruby S. Miller Endowment Fund

2013-14: FEGR Top-Up Award, College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, Penn State

2012-13: Travel Grant, College of Arts and Architecture,

Penn State Travel Stipend, Department of Architecture, Penn State

2011-12: University Graduate Fellowship, Penn State

2010-11: Research Fellowship, Kamla Raheja Foundation, Mumbai


2017: Glenda Laws Graduate Student Paper Award, Geographic Perspectives on Women, AAG

2016-17: Sara Woods Outstanding Graduate Student Award, Department of Women’s Studies, Penn State

2015: Achieving Women Award (Graduate Student Category), Commission for Women, Penn State

Laura Richardson Whitaker Memorial Fund, Department of Women’s Studies, Penn State

Nancy Brown Service Award, Department of Geography, Penn State Susan

Hanson Dissertation Proposal Award, Geographic Perspectives on Women, American Association of Geographers

2013: Architectural Research Centers Consortium’s King Medal

2012: Alma Heinz and August Louis Pohland Award


2014-present: National Women’s Studies Association

2013-present: Association of American Geographers

2013-present: Graduate Students in the Department of Geography at Penn State

2013-present: Supporting Women in Geography