Last year at AAG the organizers of this session led a panel on “theory and method in urban borderlands.” That panel attempted to probe the critical issues that arise in the wake of recent debates in urban theory, particularly around the framework of planetary urbanization. We were interested in “urban” research that works outside inherited conceptions of cities and inherited categories of analysis, and the implications of these positions for methods, empirical research, and disciplinary boundaries.
From that panel, two critical issues emerged: first, on rural-urban continuums and contestations, including questions of epistemology and viewpoint, and, second, on relationships between black and postcolonial thinking and an internationalist, planetary, perspective.
In the past year, debates on the scales, scopes, and positionalities of (urban) spatial theory have continued. Earlier this year, an interview with Achille Mbembe on colonialism and decolonization as planetary processes provided a helpful intervention, and a set of thoughts that seem to span, link, and open avenues around these issues.
Now, we re-engage, envisioning this panel as an invitation to continue discussions on these issues. A key line of questions that has emerged: Can we do this with no fixed perspective? Is there always a hegemony (of the urban, of the North, of political economy)? Or can a conversation begin from – or end with – multiple or different perspectives?
|Introduction||Kian Goh UCLA||15|
|Panelist||Ilaria Giglioli New College of Florida||15|
|Panelist||Hilary Malson University of California - Los Angeles||15|
|Panelist||Stuart Schrader Johns Hopkins University||15|
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