A curation of articles, essays, book reviews and interviews on critical geographical concerns.
This paper critically engages planetary urbanization’s claim that it generates ‘Urban Theory Without an Outside’. It argues planetary urbanization is part of the broader ideological terrain of urban studies whose textual field reifies the city, the urban and urbanization as objects and processes of analyses through a kind of ‘methodological urbanization’. The paper argues the conceptual and political value of delineating views from outside urban studies and planetary urbanization – in particular from domains like area studies – that unmoor the primacy of the city, the urban and particularly urbanization in understandings of socio-spatial processes across planetary space. It suggests how these perspectives can usefully act as ‘supplements’ indifferent to urban studies, reminding urban studies of the limits of its own forms of knowledge production in relation to socio-spatial process and city formation. To do this, the paper sketches an anti-colonial history of Colombo, Sri Lanka.
To demonstrate the value of writing under erasure, I focus upon waste – as both material and semiotic artifact of capitalist urbanization – and offer a “supplementary reading” of Bangalore that sketches the multiple constitutive outsides of the city, which in turn make empirically evident the stakes of planetary urbanization's occlusions.
This article confronts debates about extended and concentrated urbanization with Indigenous claims to time and space. It does so in part by discussing the degree to which notions of extended and concentrated urbanization allow us to understand the dynamics of pipeline politics in Canada, notably Indigenous claims leveled at infrastructure projects.
This paper critiques the meanings typically attributed to “totality” and “totalization” by Brenner and Schmid as well as their critics, and then explicates the concepts of totality and totalization developed in the tradition of Hegelian Marxism, especially in the works of Georg Lukács, Jean-Paul Sartre, Henri Lefebvre, and Fredric Jameson.
In this commentary, I discuss the fact that although I initially set out to write an essay that would put queer urban studies into conversation with this new approach, I instead chose to stay on the outside of planetary urbanization along with many other scholars whose work is informed by queer, feminist, and critical race theoretical approaches.
Following consideration of some of the most prevalent misrepresentations of this work within this special issue, I build upon Barnes and Sheppard’s (2010) concept of “engaged pluralism” to suggest more productive possibilities for dialogue among critical urban researchers whose agendas are too often viewed as incommensurable or antagonistic rather than as interconnected and, potentially, allied.
In our engagement with Neil Brenner and Christian Schmid’s thesis on planetary urbanization we argue that, while they have successfully marked some important limits of mainstream thinking on the urban, their privileging of epistemology cannot produce an urban theory for our time.
Though not an exhaustive list, these are many of the main areas we cover.
Writings that critically engage the ongoing conditions of coloniality and its effects. Entries in this section may also speculate on intellectual, political and organizational tactics that work to resist coloniality, colonization and colonialism’s effects in the present.
Examines the evolving social, ecological, cultural and geopolitical impacts of energy systems and resource extraction, with particular emphasis on the spatial relationships that structure the extraction, production, distribution and consumption of energy and other natural resources and raw materials
Chronicles past, present, and potential impacts of technoscientific development on the production of space. Provides critical looks into how scientific disciplines and industries influence how we analyze, categorize, experience, interpret, navigate, and represent that which we call space.
Investigates the spatial implications of the mass production, consumption, and disposal of digital media. Core areas of study include the environmental impacts, industrial landscapes, infrastructures, political transformations, social activities, and subjectivities particular to the digital age.
Charts the role that maps and various other forms of geo-visualisation play in the production of space. Offers a critical forum for investigating older modes of cartographic representation as well as newer approaches to big data and the politics of algorithmic and other data-driven processes.
Investigates relations between policing (narrowly and broadly understood), incarceration, and the production of space and spatial knowledge. Borders, criminalized neighborhoods, detention centers, heavily securitized areas, internment camps, jails, prisons, rendition sites, and the spatial relations that they rely on and produce are explored as sites of power and subversion.