RSgeog238x384Romola Sanyal

Assistant Professor of Urban Geography


Tel: [+44] (0)20 7955 7604

Fax: [+44] (0)20 7955 7412

Room: STC 5.09, St Clement’s Building, LSE


Dr Sanyal joined LSE in 2013 from the Development Planning Unit at UCL. She has previously taught at Rice University, Texas, and Newcastle University. She is interested in architecture, urban geopolitics, urban theory, housing and citizenship rights. She has written on the politics of space in refugee settlements in the global South with a particular focus on Lebanon and India. Her current research work looks at the urbanization of particular areas in Lebanon through humanitarian aid that has come in response to the Syrian refugee crisis. Dr Sanyal obtained her PhD at the University of California, Berkeley.

Research Areas

  • Urban and Regional Planning
  • International Development
  • Refugee and Displacement
  • Urban Geopolitics
  • Housing
  • Citizenship



Recent publications:

2015 and forthcoming

  • Sanyal, R. (2015). “Dilineations Amongst the Poor: Caste, Class and Gender among Refugees in Calcutta”. In C. Lemanski and C. Marx (Eds.), The City in Urban Poverty. London: Palgrave MacMillan.
  • Sanyal, R. (2015). “Slum Tours as Politics: Global Urbanism and Representations of Poverty” International Political Sociology (2015), 9 (1), pp. 93-96. DOI: 10.1111/ips.12080
  • Co-edited Special Issue (with Cecilia Chu) “Spectacle Cities: Worlding Practices and Emerging Narratives of Urban Remaking” Geoforum (forthcoming)
  • Co-authored article (with Dr Gareth Jones) “Spectacle, Space and Suffering: the Mumbai slum as a worlded experience”. Geoforum (2015) doi:10.1016/j.geoforum.2015.02.008
  • How Refuge Creates Informality: Shelter Politics in Refugee Camps in Beirut.” Jerusalem Quarterly (2015) 60, pp. 31-41.





  • Desai, R. and Sanyal, R. (eds). Urbanizing Citizenship: Contested Spaces in Indian Cities. New Delhi: Sage Publications (2011).
  • Sanyal, R. (2011). Displaced Borders: Shifting Politics of Squatting in Calcutta. In R. Desai, R. Sanyal (Eds.), Urbanizing Citizenship: Contested Spaces in Indian Cities. India: Sage.
  • Sanyal, R., & Desai, R. (2011). Introduction: Emerging Citizenships and Contested Spaces in Indian Cities. In R. Desai, R. Sanyal (Eds.), Urbanizing Citizenship:Contested Spaces in Indian Cities. India: Sage.
  • Sanyal, R. (2011). Squatting in Camps: Building and Insurgency in Spaces of Refuge. Urban Studies: An International Journal for Research in Urban Studies, 48 (5).



  • Sanyal, R. (2008). Traditional Dwellings and Settlements. Online Encyclopedia of the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine in Non-Western Cultures, 2nd ed.


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