Lisa Trivedi, the Christian A. Johnson Excellence in Teaching Professor of History, recently presented an invited lecture at Emory University. The talk, titled “Housing for an Industrial Working Class: Ahmedabad, 1920-1950,” is a part of her work on the lives of women industrial textile workers in the Bombay Presidency and Lancashire, England.
Drawing upon research in India conducted while on sabbatical in 2022-23, Trivedi focused on a history of houses constructed by the Ahmedabad Mill Owners Association and the Majoor Mahajan Sangh (Textile Labour Organization) in the 1930s. “This was the period in which housing for the industrial working classes of the city’s cotton textile mills first included connections to the modern municipal water system,” Trivedi said.
By considering the infrastructural systems that comprised an “underground modern,” Trivedi’s work examines the configuration and segmentation of space in the house in terms of gender. This, she says, reveals how “... women were resituated both within the house and within the family at the intersection of cleanliness and filth.”