Ramya Swayamprakash

I am a second-year graduate student at the History department. I am broadly interested in borderlands (specifically the US – Canada border), and urban form. I come to History from an interdisciplinary background in Journalism, Political Science, Science-Policy Studies and Urban Design.

In the past year, I was a CHI Fellow at MATRIX where I produced a website on the town of Norris in Tennessee. I was also awarded the ESPP Summe research fellowship to conduct summer research during summer 2017. I spent time at the National Archives of Canada in Ottawa, the Provincial Archives in Toronto as well as archives in Windsor, Ontario.

In 2016, I  completed a Master’s in Urban Design at Lawrence Technological University (Southfield, MI); as part of the program, I undertook a research thesis on the spatialization of the US-Canada border along the Detroit River. As the longest unmanned/non-militarized border in the world, the making of the US Canada border, especially over water is an under-researched area. Through my master’s thesis, I attempted to map the border making process and its relationship with island ownership. To me, borders become infrastructure through their making, performativity, behavior and as lived experience. In investigating the making of a border over water, I aimed to tease out longer historical movements of people, non-humans, trade, and politics.

I am also interested in cities, urban spaces especially the politics of certain spaces. I am particularly interested in the fashioning of specific spaces, zoning (i.e. the act of drawing spaces along zones etc). I am therefore particularly drawn to mapping as an exercise and concomitantly cartography, especially during colonial times. The mapping of specific spaces, natural bodies like rivers thus also interests me greatly.

I have long been interested in the politics of water, more specific institutional arrangements that aid the fashioning of water in particular ways. Thus the ‘water bureaucracy’ is of particular interest to me.

My master’s thesis website is: http://riverborders.weebly.com/

Teaching Appointments:

HST 213: U.S. Business and Economic History | Fall 2017

HST 202: U.S. History to 1876 | Summer 2017

Research Appointments:

Research Assistant for Dr. Helen Veit for the What America Ate project | Fall 2016 + Spring 2017

Year in Program: 2

Fields: U.S. Cultural and Social; History of Science and Technology; Borderlands History

Advisors: Dr. Lisa Fine, Dr. Michael Stamm

Committee: Dr. Susan Sleeper-Smith, Dr. Helen Veit

Office: 124 Old Hort

Research Languages: English +/ French.

Educational Background:

Bachelor of Mass media, Wilson College, University of Mumbai, India.

Master of Arts (Political Science), Jawaharlal Nehru University, India.

Master of Philosophy (Political Science), Jawaharlal Nehru University, India.

Master of Urban Design, Lawrence Technological University, Southfield MI.

Curriculum Vitae

Email: swayampr@msu.edu