zahid ali

I am a first year PhD student, I joined the department of anthropology at Rice University in the spring of 2023. My research questions lie at the intersection of the violent encounter between fossil fuel modernity and the desert life in Thar, Pakistan. Through ethnographic exploration, I aim to understand how mega development projects in the context of coal-powered energy infrastructures shape and reshape everyday life in the Thar desert.

My focus is to study the ways in which the desert space is produced as a global resource for exploitation while simultaneously serving the dual purpose of entrenching state power and developmental regimes. Broadly, I want to trace down the genealogies of carbon energy infrastructures and how these infrastructures are shaping, reshaping and destroying transnational geographies and ecologies.

Research Areas

Anthropology of infrastructures, Resource extraction, Political ecology, Climate change and climate justice, Global energy transition, Indigenous lifeworlds, Development and state power.


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