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Ananya Roy, Author of the Month, April 2010

Ananya Roy's most recent work is a book about poverty that does not study the poor and the powerless. Instead Poverty Capital studies those who manage poverty, shedding light on how powerful institutions control "capital," or circuits of profit and investment, as well as "truth," or authoritative knowledge about poverty. Roy's previous research has provided a close look at poverty and inequality in the cities of the global South.


Ananya Roy is Professor of City and Regional Planning at the University of California, Berkeley. She is also the founding chair of a new undergraduate curriculum in Global Poverty and Practice. At Berkeley, Roy is the recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award and Golden Apple Award for Outstanding Teaching, the highest teaching honors bestowed by the campus and its students. Roy received a Masters of City Planning from Berkeley in 1994, and then went on to earn her Doctorate in Philosophy, City and Regional Planning from Berkeley in 1999. Previous titles by Roy include City Requiem, Calcutta: Gender and the Politics of Poverty.

Recently, Roy was prominently featured in an article in the January 4th issue of The New Yorker , discussing the mobilizations at University of California, Berkeley around public education. The article identifies Roy as "one of Berkeley's star teachers" with a large student following (more than 700 students were enrolled in her Global Poverty course last semester.) This past Fall, Governor Schwarzenegger signed a budget that cut state funding to all UC schools by $637 million dollars, resulting in massive staff layoffs and increased tuition for students. The Berkeley campus, with its long history of political action and protest, quickly rebelled. The unrest on campus included a protest where forty students barricaded themselves inside of Wheeler Hall while police surrounded the building. Roy played a major role in helping protesters negotiate with the police and the administration, averting a violent outcome.

Roy's latest book, Poverty Capital, will publish in April 2010.

Related Products

  1. Poverty Capital

    Microfinance and the Making of Development

    By Ananya Roy

    Winner of the 2011 Paul Davidoff award! This is a book about poverty but it does not study the poor and the powerless; instead it studies those who manage poverty. It sheds light on how powerful institutions control "capital," or circuits of profit and investment, as well as "truth," or...

    Published March 3rd 2010 by Routledge