[URBANTH-L]CFP: 'The City in South Asia'

Jonathan Shapiro Anjaria janjaria at ucsc.edu
Thu Apr 10 13:20:35 EDT 2008

CFP: ‘The City in South Asia: Re-thinking subcontinental urbanism’

Colin McFarlane and Jonathan Anjaria

Durham University, UK and University of California, Santa Cruz, USA

Within the new scholarship on the city in South Asia, significant  
questions relating to contemporary and historical urbanism in the  
subcontinent remain unexplored.  In part, gaps in scholarship on  
urban South Asia are due to critical attention to processes  
associated with globalization and neoliberalization at the expense of  
other, less visible, phenomena.  We believe that while it is laudable  
that studies of transnational process brought the South Asian city  
new academic prominence within and beyond the subcontinent, this has  
overshadowed attention to diverse processes, including colonial and  
postcolonial histories, national and subcontinental connections, and  
everyday urban life, that comprise the distinctiveness of cities.

We seek papers for an edited volume with a major international  
publisher on the city in South Asia in comparative perspective.  To  
date, South Asian urban studies privilege a handful of cities, and  
one country—which overlooks the great diversity, as well as  
commonalities, of urban experiences spanning the region.  Thus, in  
addition to papers on New Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore, we welcome  
papers on lesser studied cities such as Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad,  
Kathmandu and Dhaka. We believe that a fresh look at contemporary  
changes in cities in South Asia requires careful consideration of the  
specificity of the city, as well as a comparative perspective.  In  
this way, we approach comparison not simply as a method, but as a  
mode of thought that can reshape the nature of urban theory.

Conceptually, we are interested in papers that suggest new ways of  
thinking about the city in South Asia, move away from blanket terms  
such as neoliberalism and globalization to explain processes of urban  
reconfiguration, and/or critically investigate the novelty of  
contemporary urban phenomena.  For instance, we are interested in  
contemporary and historical studies of street life, ‘encroachment’,  
conflicts over infrastructural development, the politics of mobility,  
the interwoven nature of ‘state’ and ‘society’, the uneven movement  
of capital, and projects to create modern or bourgeois urban space.  
We are also interested in papers on contestations over sanitation,  
water, work, and housing, as well as explorations of cross-border  
urban connections.

We welcome contributions from a variety of fields, including  
anthropology, geography, sociology, urban studies, and history. While  
the concerns of this volume suggest papers with a field-based  
ethnographic approach, we are interested in work based on historical  
and textual analysis as well.

Deadline:  One page proposals should be sent to Colin McFarlane  
(colin.mcfarlane at durham.ac.uk) and Jonathan Anjaria  
(janjaria at ucsc.edu) by June 1, 2008.

First drafts are due by December 1, 2008, and should be no longer  
that 8000 words (including notes and references). 

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