I am a grad student at Michigan State, interested in the U.S.-Canada borderlands, specifically the cities of Detroit and Windsor. I come to History from an interdisciplinary background in Journalism, Political Science, Science-Policy Studies and Urban Design.

n 2016, I  completed a Master’s in Urban Design at Lawrence Technological University (Southfield, MI); as part of the program, I undertook a research thesis on the spatialization of the US-Canada border along the Detroit River. As the longest unmanned/non-militarized border in the world, the making of the US Canada border, especially over water is an under-researched area. Through my master’s thesis, I attempted to map the border making process and its relationship with island ownership. To me, borders become infrastructure through their making, performativity, behavior and as lived experience. In investigating the making of a border over water, I aimed to tease out longer historical movements of people, non-humans, trade, and politics.

I am also interested in cities, urban spaces especially the politics of certain spaces. I am particularly interested in the fashioning of specific spaces, zoning (i.e. the act of drawing spaces along zones etc). I am therefore particularly drawn to mapping as an exercise and concomitantly cartography, especially during colonial times. The mapping of specific spaces, natural bodies like rivers thus also interests me greatly.

I have long been interested in the politics of water, more specific institutional arrangements that aid the fashioning of water in particular ways. Thus the ‘water bureaucracy’ is of particular interest to me.


Master of Urban Design, Lawrence Technological University, Southfield MI.

Master of Philosophy (Political Science), Jawaharlal Nehru University, India.

Master of Arts (Political Science), Jawaharlal Nehru University, India.

Bachelor of Mass media, Wilson College, University of Mumbai, India.





Swayamprakash, R. Water Hist (2014) 6: 153. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12685-013-0086-y

Blog Posts


    American Historical Association

    Association for Borderlands Studies

    Midwestern Historical Association

    Organization of American Historians

    Western Social Science Association

    Ramya Swayamprakash

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