Yaffa Truelove

Social Sciences (Urban Studies)

Assistant Professor

Email: yaffa.truelove@yale-nus.edu.sg

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Dr Yaffa Truelove specialises in the politics of urban infrastructure in South Asian cities, with a focus on water access and the unequal everyday lives of city-dwellers. Trained as an interdisciplinary geographer, she received her PhD from the University of Cambridge in 2015. She has both visited and lived in India beginning in 2002, originally volunteering and working in the NGO sector, and later as a PhD student and Research Fellow, studying the everyday lives of urban-dwellers across Delhi’s settlements and neighbourhoods. She holds two BA degrees in International Studies and Comparative History of Ideas from the University of Washington, and an MA in Geography from the University of Colorado.

Dr Truelove’s research explores everyday water politics and contested forms of infrastructural governance in cities of the global South. With a background as an interdisciplinary geographer, she is particularly interested in the relationship between social power, urban infrastructures, and the unequal lived experience of city-dwellers (with a focus on South Asia). Her PhD research examined ‘gray zones’ of water in the Delhi’s informal settlements, analysing improvisational practices and governance tactics in shaping the unevenness of the city. Dr Truelove’s current projects focus on the micro politics of water infrastructure in urban India, with particular attention to both squatter settlements and the ‘missing’ middle classes, as well as critical evaluations of the ways that representations of poverty and water scarcity are produced, disseminated and contested in cities. Her work speaks to theoretical debates on what counts as political in everyday urban life, contributing to research on comparative urbanism, feminist and urban political ecologies, and assemblage thinking in cities.

Truelove, Y. (2011) (Re-)Conceptualizing water inequality in Delhi, India through a feminist political ecology framework. Geoforum, 42(2): 143-152.

Truelove, Y. and Mawdsley, E. (2011) Discourses of citizenship and criminality in clean, green Delhi. In A Companion to the Anthropology of India. (Ed.) Clark-Deces, Isabelle. Wiley-Blackwell: Malden.

Silvey, R., Olson, B., and Truelove, Y. (2006) “Migration and (im)mobility” in Handbook of Political Geography, Robinson, J.D., Low, M. and Cox, K (eds.). Sage: London.

Nagda, B. A., Kim, C. W. & Truelove, Y. (2004) “Learning about difference, learning to connect, learning to transgress.” Journal of Social Issues. 60(1): 195-214.

Introduction to Urban Studies
Cities of the Global South
Divided Cities
Urban Political Ecology