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Kelly Alley, Alma Holladay Professor in Civic Engagement and professor of anthropology in the College of Liberal Arts, will discuss “City Drains as Transformational Spaces: Meditations on India’s Wastewater Challenge” at a free lunch and learn on Thursday, Feb. 18 at 11:45 a.m. in 310 Tichenor Hall.

Alley will discuss a new research project that rethinks India’s wastewater drains as possible sites of transformation for wastewater treatment and water recycling. Citizens face significant water and energy challenges as they address wastewater in urban settings, and Alley will propose a participatory research process that involves civic engagement and anticipatory thinking.

Alley has been researching citizen interpretations and engagements with rivers in South Asia for two decades. Her book, “On the Banks of the Ganga: When Wastewater Meets a Sacred River,” explores Hindu interpretations of the sacred river Ganga in light of current environmental problems. She has also authored book chapters and articles on religion and ecology and environmental law and justice in India. Along with students and river experts in India, she recently posted an interactive website of hydropower and wastewater infrastructure online

Attendees are encouraged to bring a lunch; drinks and desserts will be provided. For more information, contact Mark Wilson at or 844-6198.