Critical Urban Theory and Comparative Urbanism from the Eastern Fringes of Europe

Social Sciences Tea Room, Zoom

Wednesday, May 25 at 4:30 PM

To attend in person:
Social Sciences Tea Room (2nd Floor)
1126 East 59th Street
Chicago, IL 60637

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The production of urban theory has displayed consistent unequal geographical patterns and it speaks mostly from the global North. Critical gestures therefore often start with the juxtaposition of northern and southern theory and propose a reversal of symbolic-geographical hierarchies. The emergent field of comparative urbanism advocates a similar correction/democratization of urban theory by mobilizing comparison for ‘thinking cities through elsewhere’ and insisting that we can start theorizing from anywhere. Can we start this theorization from the eastern fringes of Europe? What is the role, if any, of homogenizing spatial signifiers in critical urban theory? The talk examines the potential of Eastern European urbanism for critical urban theory, and advocates a historical rather than a spatial turn in urban studies.

About the Presenter

Judit Bodnar

Judit Bodnár is Professor at the Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology of the Central European University in Vienna-Budapest, and CEERES Visiting Professor at the University of Chicago. Author of Fin-de-Millénaire Budapest
(Minnesota) and co-editor of Critical Urban Studies (Budapest: L’Harmattan), she has written on cities, public space, comparative thinking, globalization, post-socialism, and the politics of food. She is co-editor of the journal Critical Historical Studies (University of Chicago Press).