ANT 391 • Cities and Citizenship
2:00 PM-5:00 PM
With the increasing attention given to spatialities following Lefebvre and others, the study of urban space has imploded across the disciplines. In postcolonial studies the focus on the informal sector, rural-urban migration and peri-urban spaces, for instance, has contributed to significantly different ways of seeing urban space over the last decade. These new cartographies of cities have focused on three issues in particular: (1) urban practices, i.e. micro-level studies of neighborhoods, streets, alleys (2) urban modernities and (3) cities and nation-building projects. This focus on local socio-spatial dynamics has challenged and re-articulated the idea of the modern city. While economically disadvantaged communities have been central in this project, gendered subjects have remained marginal to the study of economic, social and spatial dynamics of South Asian, Latin American, MIddle Eastern and African cities. The course will engage with material from the various regions and also address some of the following questions: Does the city represent a site of personal autonomy and political possibilities for women/men? At different moments public discourse in distinct societies has produced the city as both site of modern citizen-making and site of corruption/ pollution. How have different classes of people in distinct temporalities/ spatialities negotiated these tensions? What are local grammars of urbanity and rurality? How is the 'rural' configured in the city in both popular and dominant discourses? In what ways are these discourses gendered -- and in what ways do gendered subjects negotiate senses of self/community with or beyond them? How do urban politics and policies reshape households and communities' relationship to the city? What political space is provided for subjects to resist or renegotiate state sponsored attempts to re-order the urban landscape?