Meghna Mohandas


PhD Candidate

Meghna was born and raised in the south Indian state of Kerala. She pursued an undergraduate degree in architecture from the School of Planning and Architecture, Bhopal, and a postgraduate degree in urban sociology from the London School of Economics.

Meghna has experience working on research, design, and policy development pertaining to issues of affordable housing in Bengaluru, London, and Kozhikode. She moved to Vancouver in September 2021 to commence her doctoral degree at UBC SCARP.

Private Space as Political 'Genderscape'

Meghna studies the rental housing experiences of Indigenous women from the Northeast Indian borderlands and Himalayan foothills who migrate to Bengaluru, India. For Indigenous migrant women who are employed as intimate economy workers, their private rental houses are spaces where they experience racial harassment, sexual violence, and increased surveillance by landlords and neighbours.

In addition to an asymmetric tenant-landlord relationship, hegemonic influence of Hindu nationalism has emboldened Hindu landlords and neighbours to perpetrate violence against people characterised as ‘threatening their culture’. Meghna seeks to analyse how socio-political contexts render ‘private’ rental houses of Indigenous migrant women as ‘genderscapes’.

  1. PLAN 504 (Urban Design and Visual Representation) - GTA
  2. PLAN 221 (City Visuals) - GTA
  1. Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), 2023 - 2026
  2. Institute of Asian Research (UBC) Travel Grant, 2023
  3. Brahm Weisman Memorial Scholarship, University of British Columbia, 2022
  4. H. Peter Oberlander Scholarship in Community and Regional Planning, University of British Columbia, 2022
  5. Partnership Engage Grant, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), with Dr. Julia Harten, 2022
  6. President's Academic Excellence Initiative PhD Award, University of British Columbia, 2021 & 2022
  7. 4 Year Fellowship (4YF), University of British Columbia, 2021 - 2025
  8. Faculty of Applied Science Graduate Award, University of British Columbia, 2021
  9. International Tuition Award, 2021 & 2022
  10. 3rd Prize, Berkeley Essay Writing Competition, University of California, Berkeley, 2015
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