[URBANTH-L] CFP for panel proposal to AAA 2008: Urban Geographies of Conflict

Martina Rieker mrieker at geographies.net
Wed Mar 19 05:45:45 EDT 2008

CALL FOR PAPERS: Urban Geographies of Conflict

This is a call for papers for a panel proposal to be submitted to the  
American Anthropological Association annual meetings to be held this  
year in San Francisco (November 19-23, 2008).

 From war-torn to defiled cities our vocabularies have strained to  
capture the everyday life of urban landscapes in many parts of the  
contemporary Middle East, South Asia and Africa. The promise of the  
modern city is giving way to ethnic, religious, economic violence. Be  
it the product of externally or internally authored conflict, much of  
the language of urban geographies of conflict is a priori premised on  
a notion of abnormal space that can only be remade into a canonical  
modern city. The panel seeks to explore these arguments from the  
location of the "troubled" or "perverse" urban geographies of the  
Global South by pursuing a number of questions: If what Chatterjee  
(2005) calls the bourgeois city always already has a fractured  
history, then how might this inflect upon our understanding of the  
violent unmaking of urban projects? With the collapse of welfare  
economies and state sponsored employment, and the postcolonial  
national ideologies that gave rise to them, how do contemporary  
transnational flows of ideas and resources shape responses to  
contemporary forms of deprivation and marginality that are specific to  
these histories of the forever non-bourgeois city? How might we think  
of the everyday life of cities not as transitions between conflict,  
crisis and normality, but rather as cities with histories of different  
intensities? What new forms of subjectivities, notions of public  
socialities are produced in cities that are the site of incessant  
violence? How people survive in their private and work life in  
expanding cities in the global south are perhaps stories and histories  
that are yet to be told or written.
This panel is being organized by the Shehr Network, a comparative  
urban landscapes project that seeks to further a social-historical and  
critical understanding of contemporary cities and urban practices in  
the Middle East, South Asia and Africa. It examines the efficacy of  
the category of the city in modernist discourse and seeks to chart  
this spatial imagination and its effects through an exploration of the  
complex processes through which gendered, classed and raced citizen- 
subjects have negotiated and been the object of urban projects in  
these regions. Attuned to both the legacy of modernist conceptual  
grammars and their inadequacy for understanding the remaking of space  
and place in the neo-liberal present, the panel will focus on arenas  
which seek to address the particular positioning(s) of contemporary  
urban landscapes and urban practices.

Please send your abstracts to Martina Rieker (American University in  
Cairo)  mrieker at aucegypt.edu or Kamran Asdar Ali (University of Texas,  
Austin) asdar at mail.utexas.edu by March 27, 2008. Paper abstracts for  
the AAA are limited to 250 words.

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