Assistant Professor, Research Group for the Human Sciences, IIIT Hyderabad
An electrical engineer by training, my interest in studying the interface between technological regimes, local communities and ecologies led me to shift my research focus to the social sciences. I pursued my doctoral research at the Centre for Studies in Science Policy in Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi after working for several years with the Delhi-based research and advocacy group Centre for Science and Environment (CSE).
I have been a post-doctoral fellow at the Centre at Concurrences in Colonial and Post- Colonial Studies at Linnaeus University in Sweden. I was also a Fellow at the Indian Institute of Advanced Study (IIAS) in Shimla, India.
I am interested in political ecology and in studying the complex responses of peasants, labourers and Adivasis to the ‘development’ project presented to them. This led me to work on the Indian trade unionist Shankar Guha Niyogi and the Chhattisgarh Mukti Morcha, and their engagement with the environmental, technological and social challenges posed by the industrial project in modern India. I have since been exploring the potential (and limitations) of labour’s engagement with technological regimes as well as the environmental movement in India. I have also simultaneously explored the implication of the politics of indigeneity and representation within environmental discourses in India. I am currently working on a book on Shankar Guha Niyogi.
Most recently, I have been working with follow researchers in India as well as in the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, the Australian National University and the University of East Anglia on the possibilities of a just transition away from coal in India.
- Krishnan, Radhika, ‘Indigeneity, Environmental Movements and Representation’, in Seminar Vol 740 (April 2021), 74-83 (ISSN: 0971-6742).
- Krishnan, Radhika, ‘Consent and Privacy in the Age of Digital Technology’, India Forum, forthcoming (2020)
- Krishnan, Radhika, ‘The Environment and Civil Society in India’, in S. Ravi Rajan and Lise Sedrez (eds.), The Great Convergence: Environmental Histories of BRICS (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2017), 159-180.
- Krishnan, Radhika, ‘The Industrial Project and Organised Labour: The (Im)possibility of ‘Red’ and ‘Green’ Imaginations? ’, in Review of Environment and Development, special section in Economic and Political Weekly Vol LII No 31 (5 August 2017), 62-70.
- Krishnan, Radhika, ‘Red in the Green: Forests, Farms, Factories and the Many Legacies of Shankar Guha Niyogi (1943-1991)’, Journal of South Asian Studies Vol.39 No. 4 (2016), 758-772.
- Krishnan, Radhika and Rama Naga, '”Ecological Warriors” versus “Indigenous Performers”: Understanding State Responses to Resistance Movements in Jagatsinghpur and Niyamgiri in Odisha’, in Patrik Oskarsson and Siddharth Sareen (eds.), special section on resource extraction, Journal of South Asian Studies, Vol 40 No 4 (2017), 878-894.
Current Research Interests
Just Transitions from Coal, Political Ecology, Environmental Discourses, Science Technology and Society (STS) Studies
I am keen on exploring various aspects of the confluence between the computer sciences and the social sciences. I supervise research which uses computational tools such as natural language processing and GIS. My students have worked on a variety of sources including satellite imagery, newspaper reports, as well as twitter and facebook posts to identify, categorise and analyse political and sociological trends. I am particularly interested in using GIS-based tools to study the impacts on mining on land-use patterns. I am also interested in studying the policy, sociological and political impacts of digital technologies from an STS perspective.
- 2023: Co-I for 3 year project titled: The end of coal and the future of land: Transformative mine closures for just and sustainable livelihoods in India, funded by the Swedish Research Council (Development Research). The aim of this project is to explore the possibilities of returning land currently occupied by coal to communities in central-eastern India in support of just and sustainable livelihoods. Co- investigators are Patrik Oskarsson, Vasudha Chhotray and Manju Menon.
- 2022: Co-I on 3 year project titled: Planning for a just coal energy transition from the ground up: Engaging coal field communities in India for fossil free future. This research project supported by the research council Formas engages coalfield communities in India to develop a replicable framework for a just energy transition that is participatory, bottom-up and socially inclusive. Co-investigators are Prof Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt and Patrik Oskarsson.
- Archiving the Farmers’ Movement, Exploring the Potential and Limitations of Computational Tools and the Digital Space. 3-year study being funded by a seed grant provided by IIIT Hyderabad.