Pablo Holwitt

Pablo Holwitt
  • Magister Artium
    Geschichte, Kunst- und Orientwissenschaf
  • Phd-Project
    The sensorial remapping of the city: Middle-class aesthetics and new forms of residential segregation in the context of chawl-redevelopment in Mumbai

    Prof. Dr. Ursula Rao, Institute of Anthropology

    This project examines struggles and conflicts surrounding the introduction of global architectural forms into middle class neighbourhoods in the Indian megacity Mumbai. More specifically, it looks at processes aiming to remake Mumbai into a global metropolis through a process of redevelopment, that affects different localities in the city. The project specifically looks at redevelopment of Mumbai´s chawls. These are densely populated rental-housing units with shared toilet facilities, which have been built during the colonial era. Chawl-redevelopment is a highly contested process that involves multi-level negotiations between different stakeholders and is characterized by intimidations, asymmetrical power relations, aspirations and envy. Moreover, it profoundly transforms the built environment of these neighborhoods and entails new forms of residential segregation, influenced by new middle class desires and aesthetics of urban space. The project seeks to situate these contestations within broader discussions about sensorial othering, urban gating and the changing nature of class-identities in Indian cities.

    Academic background
    10/2004 – 03/2011: Magister Artium study (major subject: Social Anthropology, minor subjects: Ancient and Medieval History) at the Westfälische Wilhelms-University Münster

    09/2008-12/2008: Participation in a practical field research training at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai

    03/2011-03/2014: PhD-student at the Institute of Ethnology of the Westfälische Wilhelms-University Münster

    05/2011-09/2011: Visiting research student at the Department of Sociology, Mumbai University

    03/2012-05/2013: Field research in Mumbai for PhD-study as part of the program 'A new passage to India' of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)

    since 03/2014: PhD-student at the Institute of Anthropology of the University of Leipzig

    of: Nikhil Rao (2013): House, but no garden. Apartment living in Bombay´s suburbs 1898-1964. London/Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. In: South Asia. Journal of South Asian Studies 37 (2), pp. 359-359.

    Research interests
    urban anthropology, anthropology of the senses, globalization, migration