Urban theory lab podcast series:  dialogues on the urban question

The field of urban theory is today experiencing considerable turbulence.  As scholars struggle to decipher ongoing ongoing processes of urban restructuring and emergent forms of urbanization around the world, inherited frameworks of interpretation, investigation and representation are being called into question and reinvented.  In this series of conversations, Urban Theory Lab director Neil Brenner dialogues with major urban thinkers about the questions that animate their work and about the challenges of developing new forms of urban theory and practice that are adequate to early twenty-first century conditions.

Thanks to Mahogany for permission to use part of "L'éphémère est éternel" song for the podcast.

Podcast series begins in Winter 2014–stay tuned for announcements.

Podcast 1: Matthew Gandy


We are delighted to launch our podcast series through a dialogue with Matthew Gandy, Professor of Geography at University College London.  Matthew Gandy is an urbanist who writes about cities, landscape and nature.  He is the author of, among many other works, Concrete and Clay: Reworking Nature in New York City (MIT Press, 2002) and The Fabric of Space: Water, Modernity and the Urban Imagination (MIT Press 2014), as well as a number of highly influential articles in the field of critical urban political ecology. In this conversation, we discuss his work on urban metabolism, cyborg urbanization and urban political ecology, as well as his recent engagement with urban wastelands and the question of urban biodiversity.

Publications related to this podcast:
- Matthew Gandy (2013) Marginalia: Aesthetics, Ecology, and Urban Wastelands, Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 103:6, 1301-1316
- Matthew Gandy (2005), Cyborg Urbanization: Complexity and Monstrosity in the Contemporary City. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 29: 26–49.

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Podcast 2: Margit Mayer

After a long winter and a busy semester, we are delighted to renew our podcast series through a dialogue with our long-time friend, comrade and colleague, Margit Mayer, Professor at the Free University Berlin.   The conversation was recorded on a beautiful Spring afternoon in Berlin, in a garden courtyard where a chorus of birds can be heard singing in the background.   Margit Mayer is among the most influential scholars working in the field of critical urban studies today.  Her many writings on urban social movements under Fordism, post-Fordism, globalized urbanization and neoliberal urbanism have influenced generations of urban thinkers and activists concerned to understand the changing contexts of radical and progressive urban struggles.  Her most recent books include Neoliberal Urbanism and its Contestations (co-edited with Jenny Künkel; Palgrave, 2012); Cities for People, not for Profit: Critical Urban Theory and the Right to the City (co-edited with Neil Brenner and Peter Marcuse; Routledge, 2012); and Social Movements in the (Post-)Neoliberal City.  Civic City Cahier 1 (London: Bedford Press/AA, 2010).

Publications related to this podcast:
- Margit Mayer (2009) The ‘right to the city’ in the context of shifting mottos of urban social movementsCITY, 13:2, 262-374.
- Margit Mayer (2013) First world urban activism: Beyond austerity urbanism and creative city politics, CITY, 71:1, 5-19.
- Margit Mayer and Julie-Anne Boudreau, “Social movements in urban politics: trends in research and practice,” in Karen Mossberger, Susan E. Clarke, and Peter John editors, Oxford Handbook on Urban Politics.  Oxford: Oxford University Press, 273-291.

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Podcast 3: Ananya Roy

Our dialogues on the urban question continue this Fall, beginning with a wide-ranging discussion of urban epistemology and critical theory with Ananya Roy, Professor of City and Regional Planning and Distinguished Chair in Global Poverty and Practice at the University of California Berkeley. Through her powerful critiques of mainstream urban ideologies and her forceful arguments in favor of a postcolonial urbanism, Ananya Roy has animated the field of urban theory with a wide range of new concepts, epistemologies and horizons for both research and action.  Her books include City Requiem, Calcutta: Gender and the Politics of Poverty (University of Minnesota Press, 2003), Worlding Cities: Asian Experiments and the Art of Being Global (co-editor with Aihwa Ong, Blackwell, 2011); and Poverty Capital: Microfinance and the Making of Development (Routledge, 2010).  Her latest book, Territories of Poverty (co-edited with Emma Shaw Crane), is forthcoming later this year from the University of Georgia Press.

Publications related to this podcast:
- Ananya Roy (2011) Slumdog cities: rethinking subaltern urbanism, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 35:2, 223-238.
- Ananya Roy (2009) The 21st century metropolis: new geographies of theory, Regional Studies, 43:6, 819-830.

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