Skip to Content

Search: {{$root.lsaSearchQuery.q}}, Page {{$}}

Rethinking Urban Theory: Transnational Urbanism at the Start of the 21st--International Security & Development Lecture

Friday, February 8, 2013
12:00 AM
Michigan League Kalamazoo Room

At the start of the 21st century, conventional approaches to understanding transnational urbanism and the contemporary modern metropolis have become unsettled. The unprecedented hyper-growth of the sprawling mega-cities of the (so-called) Global South, coupled with the proliferation of post-industrial “shrinking cities” in the core areas of the world economy, has fundamentally altered the pace and form of global urbanism. Yet the dominant theories used to study cities remain largely tied to the urban experience of a handful of leading world-class cities of Europe and North America. There is a growing interest in re-conceptualizing the field of urban toward a less-deductive theoretical openness that seeks through comparison and contrast to account for the historical-spatial specificity of those cities which are “off the map.”

Free & Open to the Public. Reception to follow.

Martin Murray (professor of urban planning, Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning) has been named a CICS International Security & Development Fellow for 2012-2013. His research interests are in urban geography, and his research and writing is interdisciplinary, or trans-disciplinary. He has worked extensively within the framework of historical sociology with archival collections in London and Oxford (England); Pretoria, Cape Town, and Johannesburg (South Africa); Harare (Zimbabwe); and Maputo (Mozambique). His most recent books, Taming the Disorderly City: Spatial Politics in Johannesburg after Apartheid (Cornell, 2008) and City of Extremes: The Spatial Landscape of Johannesburg (Duke University Press, 2011) rely on a kind of “traveling ethnographic” approach—a methodology that anthropologists have perfected.

He will develop and teach a course for the International Studies Program entitled “Challenges for Transnational Urban Development in the 21st Century” in Spring 2013. He will deliver a public lecture and publish an article in a forthcoming issue of the II Journal on the same theme.