Word Lab

The Word Lab anchors the editorial function at IIHS. Its core responsibilities are to communicate the diverse forms of writing and knowledge production at IIHS to a wide public readership; to enable the IIHS community to write more effectively in diverse media; and to systematise a regular flow of publications and knowledge production.

 

The Lab manages the Knowledge Gateway, which is a repository of all IIHS publications including books, policy briefs, reports and opinion pieces based on the research, practice and pedagogy at IIHS. It plays a key role in the production of IIHS’ open access cases along with the Academics & Research team since case-based learning, thus far, has remained largely within specific disciplinary paradigms.

 

The Lab also anchors the production of Urbanisation, IIHS’ flagship journal on interdisciplinary scholarship on the urban in the Global South. Published biannually by SAGE Publications, the journal aims to inform urban theory, policy and practice, and build diverse forms of knowledge focused on contemporary urban life.

 

Every year, the Word Lab hosts City Scripts, a public festival that celebrates writings and conversations around the city, which brings together eminent authors, journalists, artists, architects, planners, among others who engage with the city in different ways. The event features panel discussions, book launches, masterclasses and a host of conversations on topics including city histories, gender, environmental activism, film, music, and more. Noted panelists include film critic Baradwaj Rangan; musicians Shubha Mudgal and Aneesh Pradhan; writers CS Lakshmi (Ambai) and Kiran Nagarkar; journalists/editors Paranjoy Guha Thakurta, Siddharth Varadarajan and Naresh Fernandes; and Bengaluru’s own Vivek Shanbag, Arshia Sattar, Nisha Susan, Anjum Hassan and Zac O’Yeah, among others.

 

As part of IIHS’ Urban Practitioners’ Programme, the Word Lab conducts public writing workshops for various audiences. These include ‘Writing for Digital Media’ and ‘Writing for the Development Sector’, catering to professionals working in the field of communications, as well as those working with NGOs and think tanks, respectively.

 

In July 2017, the Word Lab organised the IIHS Translation Conclave, a first step to open up conversations around an academic translations programme by bringing together authors, translators, publishers and technologists who write and translate in various Indian languages.   

 


 

PUBLICATIONS
Through its research and practice programmes in the many disciplines that constitute urban practice, IIHS produces a vast amount of content including research papers, working papers, policy briefs, op-eds, blogs and reports. The Word Lab is at the heart of the process to fine-tune and systematise these publications, hold them to high standards of rigour, and ensure the most effective impacts of the diverse forms of writing emerging from within IIHS. The institution remains committed to furthering open access to knowledge by publishing under a Creative Commons license wherever possible, including on our Knowledge Gateway.  

 

We anchor the production of:

  • Urbanisation, the bi-annual IIHS journal, published by SAGE Publications.
  • Faculty articles in specialised academic journals.
  • Series-based book-length readers as curriculum material.
  • Practice-based interdisciplinary cases as a part of the IIHS curriculum.
  • A repository of all IIHS-based research, practice and pedagogy based materials on the Knowledge Gateway on the IIHS website.

 

SHORT COURSES
As part of IIHS’ Urban Practitioners’ Programme, the Word Lab conducts public writing workshops for various audiences. These include ‘Writing for Digital Media’ and ‘Writing for the Development Sector’, catering to professionals working in the field of communications, as well as those working with NGOs and think tanks, respectively.

 

Creating a Reading Culture at IIHS
While the Word Lab seeks to take IIHS’ work to new audiences, one strong focus remains on building an internal institutional culture that is open, reflective and vibrant.

 

The Lab facilitates:

  • Reading discussion groups where seminal titles are read over time and discussed critically.
  • Writing circle where writers read each other’s works and comment on them.
  • Regular book readings by published authors.