Comparative Urbanism, Exceptionalism and Theorising the Asian City

Le 21 novembre 2018
De 14h00 à 16h00
Sciences Po Strasbourg - Amphi 210

Sciences Po Strasbourg reçoit Pushpa Arabindoo, pour une conférence en anglais sur le thème : "Comparative Urbanism, Exceptionalism and Theorising the Asian City."

Recent attempts to provincialise a global urban agenda has had implications for area studies as such efforts place regional specificities into the focus of our attempts to de- and re-center urban theory. And thus, it has sparked a conscious address of African exceptionalism, rethinking the lessons we learnt from Latin America as well as the possibility of ‘Asia as method’, an exercise that opens new questions and challenges. Thus, while the possibility of theorising the urban through the empirical reality of Asian city is appealing and tempting, it is not an easy task. Drawing on my experiences of teaching a course at University College London titled Asian Cities: Comparative Lessons from India and China, this lecture considers the fragile idea of Asia as a region in the first instance, its well-known heterogeneities that insist on an aura of exceptionalism, and the probability of inter-Asian comparisons that might allow Asianising urban theory.

Speaker Bio:
Pushpa Arabindoo is Associate Professor in Geography & Urban Design at University College London. With an inter-disciplinary background in architecture, urban design/planning and geography, her research cuts across disciplinary boundaries in conducting ethnographic investigations of urban transformations in the Indian city of Chennai, where she has been exploring a range of issues from middle-class activism to subaltern politics of evictions and resettlement as well as ecological imaginations of water and nature in the city. She is a co-director of UCL Urban Laboratory as well as an Editor of the City Journal. She is currently a Fellow of the Instiut d’Etudes Avancees in Paris for 2018-19.


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