Dr. Yamini Narayanan is Senior Lecturer in International and Community Development. Her work is focussed on two major themes: the nexus between animals and urban planning in India; and the intersections of speciesism, casteism and racism in the ways in which animals are enrolled in nation-building projects. Her forthcoming book will offer one of the first empirical critiques of India’s cow protectionism discourse and politics from a critical animal studies standpoint, examining bovine realities in both sites of production and protection.
Yamini’s research is supported by two Australian Research Council grants. Yamini is the founding Convenor of the Deakin Critical Animal Studies Network, and has served as the founding co-convenor of the ‘Animals and Sociology’ thematic group at TASA. She is a lifelong Fellow of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics, an honour that is conferred through nomination or invitation only.
Her book Religion, Heritage and the Sustainable City: Hinduism and Urbanisation in Jaipur (Routledge) was published in 2015, and edited volume Religion and Urbanism: Reconceptualising Sustainable Cities in South Asia (Routledge) was published in 2016. Yamini publishes widely in media on issues related to animal rights, including the Animal Liberation Currents, The Hindu Centre for Politics and Public Policy, Huffington Post and Animal People Forum. She has been interviewed by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the animal rights radio channel Freedom of Species, and for documentaries on cow protection politics in India, and animal advocacy in India.
At the cutting edge of the ‘animal turn’ or the ‘posthuman turn’ that is emerging across disciplines in the academe, Yamini’s research is focussed on bringing forth animals as subjects and stakeholders of our co-shared and co-produced social, ecological and political worlds. Specifically, she addresses animals as stakeholders in urban spaces, and as subjects and instruments of nationalist politics in India, and elsewhere in South Asia.
Fellow of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics [FOCAE] - 2017-ongoing
Australian Research Council DECRA Senior Research Fellow - 2014-2017
American Association of Geographers
Australasian Animal Studies Association
The Australian Sociological Association (TASA)
ADS701 - Introduction to International and Community Development
ADS723 - Development Project Cycle
ADS753 - International and Community Development Internships
AIX701 - Research Project
- Animals and urban planning
- Animals and religion
- Speciesism, casteism and racism
- South Asian/Indian cities
Convenor, Deakin Critical Animal Studies Network
Co-Convenor, Governance, Development and Peace Stream, Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation
Consultant Editor, Journal of Animal Ethics
Co-Convenor, Animals and Sociology Thematic Group, TASA 
Member, Human Animal Research Network [HARN], University of New South Wales
Board of Directors, International Sustainable Development Research Society [ISDRS] (2013-2016)
ABC live ‘The World’ 30th May 2017 – ‘The politics behind India’s ban on the sale of slaughter cattle’ - http://www.abc.net.au/news/programs/the-world/2017-05-31/the-politics-behind-indias-ban-on-the-sale-of/8574158
Deakin Critical Animal Studies Network
Governance, Development, Peace stream, Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation
Fellow of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics [FOCAE]
ARC DECRA Fellow, 2014-2017, 'Religion and Urban Development in India: Planning Sustainable Cities'
Visiting Fellow, School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford, May 2017
Incoming Leader Fellow, Australia India Institute @ Delhi, University of Melbourne, November 2016.
Yamini Narayanan leads an ARC Discovery grant (2018-2021), with Prof. Jennifer Wolch, University of California Berkeley, for the project titled "Animals and urban planning: Indian cities as Zoöpolises". In an era of rapid urbanisation and urban biodiversity decline in India, the project aims to address animals as crucial constituents of urban societies. Designed in the final years of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets 2011-20, the project will examine the everyday realities of selected wild, commensal, and commoditised species who live close to humans in ecologically diverse, rapidly growing, medium-sized cities. It will show how these realities are also outcomes of being enmeshed in social frameworks to offer an expanded empirical basis for planning to sustain urban biodiversity, and devise species-inclusive zoöpolises as successful cities of the future.
Yamini Narayanan also led an ARC DECRA project (2014-17) titled 'Religion and Urban Development in India: Planning Sustainable Cities'. The project argued religion influences urban development in India, and must inform policy. Conducted at a time of intensified right-wing politics around cow protectionism in India, the project developed new insights on how animals are enmeshed in religious and fundamentalist narratives around space, place, and power in Indian cities. Numerous publications have arisen from this project in leading forums including Environment and Planning D; South Asia; Geoforum; and Society and Animals, among others. A book coalescing the findings is also in progress.
No publications found
Funded Projects at Deakin
Australian Competitive Grants
Religion and Urban Development in India: Planning Sustainable Cities
Dr Yamini Narayanan
ARC DECRA - Discovery Early Career Researcher Award
- 2016: $121,015
- 2015: $135,135
- 2014: $124,253
Animals and urban planning: Indian cities as Zoopolises
Dr Yamini Narayanan, Prof Jennifer Wolch
ARC - Discovery Projects
- 2020: $111,624
- 2019: $83,480
- 2018: $82,417
No completed student supervisions to report