Reframing sacred urbanism: India-UK diasporic worlding and nationalist heritage revival

This research examines the role of the Indian diaspora in transforming India’s sacred heritage sites against the backdrop of nationalist urban redevelopment projects.
Project status

Previous studies treat the imprints of religious nationalism on cities and the transnational practices of diaspora communities as distinct topics. Combining our interdisciplinary expertise across urban history, cultural and development geography, we bring these two debates together through three angles: 1) the historical spatial claims, conflicts and negotiations around religious heritage in pilgrim cities 2) the mobilisation of sacred narratives in the contemporary redevelopment of pilgrim cities 3) the connections between the UK Indian diaspora’s faith-based practices in the UK and their material contributions to local sacred sites in India. Our contribution is to analyse how the historic past mediated by contemporary religious urban politics in the present casts itself on the practices of the dual diasporic self.

Principal Investigator: Dr Rishika Mukhopadhyay, University of Southampton

CO-Investigators: Jen Dickinson, University of Southampton; Saeed Ahmad, O. P. Jindal Global University

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