The Last Shall Be First: African Urbanities and the Larger Urban World

Simone, AbdouMaliq. 2009. The Last Shall Be First: African Urbanities and the Larger Urban World. In: Andreas Huyssen, ed. Other Cities, Other Worlds: Urban imaginaries in a globalizing age. London: Duke University Press, pp. 99-119. ISBN 978-0822342717 [Book Section]

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"Other Cities, Other Worlds" brings together leading scholars of cultural theory, urban studies, art, anthropology, literature, film, architecture, and history to look at non-Western global cities. The contributors focus on urban imaginaries, the way that city dwellers perceive or imagine their own cities. Paying particular attention to the historical and cultural dimensions of urban life, they bring to their essays deep knowledge of the cities they are bound to in their lives and their work. Taken together, these essays allow us to compare metropolises from the so-called periphery and gauge processes of cultural globalization, illuminating the complexities at stake as we try to imagine other cities and other worlds under the spell of globalization.The effects of global processes such as the growth of transnational corporations and investment, the weakening of state sovereignty, increasing poverty, and the privatization of previously public services are described and analyzed in essays by Teresa Caldeira (Sao Paulo), Beatriz Sarlo (Buenos Aires), Nestor Canclini (Mexico City), Farha Ghannam (Cairo), Gyan Prakash (Mumbai), and Yingjin Zhang (Beijing). Considering Johannesburg, the architect Hilton Judin takes on themes addressed by other contributors as well: the relation between the country and the city, and between racial imaginaries and the fear of urban violence. Rahul Mehrotra writes of the transitory, improvisational nature of the Indian bazaar city, while AbdouMaliq Simone sees a new urbanism of fragmentation and risk emerging in Douala, Cameroon.In a broader comparative frame, Okwui Enwezor reflects on the proliferation of biennales of contemporary art in African, Asian, and Latin American cities, and Ackbar Abbas considers the rise of fake commodity production in China. This volume closes with the novelist Orhan Pamuk's meditation on his native city of Istanbul. It's contributors include: Ackbar Abbas; Teresa P. R. Caldeira; Nestor Garcia Canclini; Okwui Enwezor; Farha Ghannam; Andreas Huyssen; Hilton Judin; Rahul Mehrotra; Orhan Pamuk; Gyan Prakash; Beatriz Sarlo; AbdouMaliq Simone; and, Yingjin Zhang.

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Book Section

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Sociology > Centre for Study of Invention and Social Process (CSISP) [2003-2015]



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Date Deposited:

05 Oct 2015 12:09

Last Modified:

16 Dec 2016 17:18


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