PSA Newsletter Summer 2016, Special Issue: Post/Colonial Cities

PSA Newsletter Summer 2016, Special Issue: Post/Colonial Cities

Call for Contributions

Since the Arab uprisings in 2011, cities have become more than ever the sites of political, grass roots resistance to the ongoing forms of colonialism, discrimination and social injustice that continue to shape our contemporary world. Processes of gentrification, austerity policies and the increased privatisation of urban space drive marginal populations out of the city, whilst the few remaining public spaces—from Tahrir Square to Gezi Park—function as a key locus for postcolonial forms of resistance to them. Furthermore, cities have become global hubs for different kinds of cultural production, from literary writing to performance poetry, and street art and graffiti to art installations, that might help us to diagnose the new kinds of colonialism that are shaping our cities and even imagine alternative future trajectories that might help us think past, or beyond them. As Andy Merryfield argues in his 2014 re-writing of Manuel Castells’ 1977 book, The Urban Question, the ‘new urban question’ for radical theory ‘means figuring out the curiously novel mode of urbanisation we have in our midst today’, whilst the ‘new urban question for radical politics […] means figuring out what to do about all this?’

The next issue of the PSA Newsletter will explore the ways in which literary and cultural forms might allow us to rethink the way in which we inhabit increasingly divided and discriminatory city spaces. We encourage contributions from a range of disciplines that explore both literary and visual methods of cultural production. We also welcome pieces that focus both on the postcolonial dimensions of European/American cities as well as the neo-colonial aspects of cities in the Global South. Contributions might address, but are not limited to, the following questions:

– How have cities become locations in which new forms of colonisation are taking place?
– How have cities become locations in which new forms of resistance and political engagement are taking place?
– To what extent can we identify these urban forms of resistance as ‘postcolonial’?
– Can we still draw distinctions between cities in the Global North and the Global South? Can we compare them?
– How do literary writings and other kinds of cultural production intersect with urban forms of political protest?
– Can these cultural productions imagine alternative urban futures? And if so, how?

Articles should be between 300 and 1200 words, and should be fully referenced. Contributors should feel free to contact the editors as soon as possible with any inquiries or proposals. The deadline for final submissions will be Sunday 31st July 2016. Please write with an expression of interest to Dominic Davies at dominic.davies@ell.ox.ac.uk.