Dr Kaveri Medappa

Profile details


Postdoctoral Researcher in Human Geography 


Kaveri is a postdoctoral researcher in human geography in the Department for Continuing Education, and a Junior Research Fellow at Kellogg College, University of Oxford. She is currently part of a multi-institutional, multi-methods ESRC-funded project titled ‘Trucking Lives: Making Space for People in Truck Driving Work’. The project seeks to better understand and make visible the work-lives of HGV (Heavy Goods Vehicles) drivers in the UK, with the aim to improve truck drivers’ working and life conditions.

Kaveri received her PhD in International Development from the University of Sussex in 2022. Her doctoral project, supervised by Prof Geert De Neve and Dr Rebecca Prentice, is an ethnographic study of app-based food delivery workers and cab drivers in Bengaluru, India.

Kaveri has master’s degrees in Gender Studies and Social Work. She has previously taught undergraduates and postgraduates in Anthropology and Social Work at the University of Sussex, UK, and at St. Joseph’s College, Bengaluru, India, respectively. Prior to her doctoral research, she worked as a research associate in the ‘Speculative Urbanism’ project and was part of an international team of academics and practitioners studying transformations in finance networks, land and livelihoods in Bengaluru and Jakarta.

Her research and teaching interests broadly fall within labour anthropology, critical mobility studies, the politics of development, feminist political economy, the intersections of everyday life with digital technologies and financialisation, social movements and ethnographic research methods. 


Academic Scholarship

India's Gig Economy Workers at the Time of Covid-19: An IntroductionJournal of South Asian Development, ed. by Geert De Neve, Kaveri Medappa, and Rebecca Prentice (2023).

Medappa, K. (2023). Rethinking Mutual Aid Through the Lens of Social Reproduction: How Platform Drivers Ride Out Work and Life in Bengaluru, IndiaJournal of South Asian Development.

Medappa, K. (2023) (accepted; in press). Chasing Targets, Making A Life. In Gidwani, V., Goldman, M., & Upadhya, C. (eds.) Living the Speculative City: Bengaluru as Urban Future. University of Minnesota Press.

Medappa, K (2022) Chasing targets, Making Life: An Ethnographic Study of Platform-based Cab Drivers and Food Delivery Workers in Bengaluru, India. Doctoral thesis (PhD), University of Sussex.

Gupta, H., Medappa, K. (2020). Nostalgia as Affective Landscape: Negotiating Displacement in the “World City”Antipode. Vol.52 (6).

Public Scholarship

Medappa, K. (2023) ‘Uber is asking for a selfie’. In Williams, P., Jacobs, C., and Kamra, L (Eds.) Privacy Techtonics Exhibition Reader. Queen Mary University of London and OTOKA.

Medappa, K (Guest). (2023, 15 February). Platform Workers and the Gig Economy: From Milan to Johannesburg to BangaloreWorkplace Matters [Podcast].

Medappa, K. (2021, 24 March). Bengaluru Zomato worker Kamaraj got a chance to defend himself. Others are not as lucky. The New Indian Express

Bharadkar, K., Medappa, K., Mani, M., Taduri, P., & Tiwari, S. (2020). Is platform work decent work? A case of food delivery workers in Karnataka. Occasional Paper Series. Centre for Labour Studies, National Law School of India University.

Medappa, K., Ray, R., Hussain, S.M. (2020, 7 October). Confronting precarious work: Beyond social security for platform workers. The India Forum.

Medappa, K., Taduri, P. (2020, 22 April). By crowdfunding benefits for embattled workers, app-based services are evading their own obligationsScroll.In.

Leyva del Rio, S., Medappa, K. (2020, 17 April). Essential workers of the world unite! ROAR Magazine.

Awards received

DSA (Development Studies Association) ‘Highly Commended’ PhD Thesis Prize, 2023

Adam Weiler Doctoral Research with Impact Award, 2022, University of Sussex (2nd Place, Social Sciences)

Chancellor’s International Research Scholarship, University of Sussex, 2018-2021