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Sociological perspectives in Urban Studies, it is argued is enmeshed in evolutional theory, from rural-agrarian to urban-industrial. It also equates urbanization with the spatial form of the city. Consequently, the study of cities becomes studies of urbanization and of modernity. Alternatively, the study of cities in the South become studies of slums. In what way does the postcolonial and decolonial perspectives help to deconstruct and present alternatives to such social theorising?

Event details of Urban Dialogue – extra session: Sujata Patel
Date 18 May 2021
Time 16:00 -17:00

After distinguishing between the postcolonialism and decolonial perspectives, this presentation will use the Indian case to argue how postcolonial deconstruction opens up a new way of thinking of categories of ‘rural’ and ‘urban’. It suggests that scholars have not given enough attention to comprehend the uneven processes of urbanization that occur in the periphery of the world system wherein the ‘rural-agrarian’ combines with the growth of low-end service economies within towns and cities to provide informalized employment for a large mass of the population. It raises the question whether studying cities/slums in the periphery helps in understanding urbanization and if not, what does one study?

I will argue the study of labour may help to comprehend both global capitalist connections, unevenness and stagnation that occur today. This presents a challenge to the field of urban studies which needs to be interdisciplinary and examine the urban at it moves through many geographies. I give examples from India to explain the above points.

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The Urban Dialogues Series

The Centre for Urban Studies cordially invites you to participate in the new Urban Dialogues series. This series gives CUS members and guests the opportunity to share their research and receive feedback, to enlarge their network, and to explore potential collaborations. Each session will start with a 30 minute presentation, followed by a 30 minute discussion, in which everyone is welcome to participate. Please find the full programme below.

27 October (16:00-17:00 CET)

Refugee Commoning Carescapes vs State Policies of Campization in Greece

Charalampos Tsavdaroglou and Maria Kaika

24 November (16:00-17:00 CET)

City Science

Caroline Nevejan

26 January (16:00-17:00 CET)

Sustainable Urbanization Practices in European Regions

David Evers

23 February (16:00-17:00 CET)

Wellbeing Index Amsterdam

Hebe VerrestNicky Pouw 

30 March (16:00-17:00 CET)

Multispecies Urbanism

Debra Solomon

7 April  (14:30-15:15 CET, EXTRA SESSION)

Common Mental Health Disorders (in Urban Environments)

Claudi Bockting

20 April (16:00-17:00 CET)

MOOC's: Experiences and Potentials

Marco te Brömmelstroet and George Liu

18 May (16:00-17:00 CET)


Sujata Patel

25 May (16:00-17:00 CET)

Politics of Non-knowing in Smart Cities

Anna Nikolaeva

29 June (16:00-17:00 CET)

Urban Aesthetics: From Places of Occupation to Gentrification

Olga SeznevaGiselinde Kuipers and Anastasiya Halauniova