For the first time in history, over 50 percent of human beings live in cities. Perhaps more surprising is that cities in the developed world have been eclipsed in size and growth by the megacities of the underdeveloped world—the “global South.” As primary sites for human consumption of natural resources and for pollution of the environment, these global cities will witness the twenty-first-century crises—ecological, political, and social—when they first become full-blown. Global Cities of the South examines these portending disasters unfolding in the megacities of the global South.
This special issue challenges postcolonial theorists to engage with urban studies and challenges urban analysts to turn their focus to the postcolonial societies where these cities have developed. Gathering well-known scholars in postcolonial theory and urban studies, the collection opens an interdisciplinary exchange through a series of case studies focused on cities in Africa and Asia. One essay argues that the world’s urban spaces are key to the continuance of inequity under capitalist globalization (exemplified by rapidly expanding urban slums), as well as to any possible resistance to that inequity. Another article considers the history and politics of Harlem from the perspective of a well-known academic, activist, and postcolonial theorist whose work here is interwoven with the photographic art of Alice Attie. A third reflects on the politics of representation of Hindu and Muslim populations in Mumbai, evaluating popular media including film and the cosmopolitan fiction of Salman Rushdie.
Contributors. Alice Attie, Mike Davis, Ashley Dawson, Brent Hayes Edwards, Brian Larkin, Rossana Reguillo, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Rashmi Varma, Victor Vich
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Ashley Dawson is Assistant Professor of English, Speech, and World Literatures at the City University of New York, Staten Island. Brent Hayes Edwards is Associate Professor of English at Rutgers University
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